May 3, 2016
Have you ever travelled to Italy and noticed all the elders still participating in life? Sometimes they are sitting outside cleaning vegetables or legumes. Other times they are carrying their shopping bags home from the market. Have you wondered why you notice them wherever you go in Italy?
Yet, here in the United States, you only seem to see them getting off a bus at the grocery store for Double Coupon Wednesdays?
According the USA Today in a report in 2014:
Life expectancy in the USA rose in 2012 to 78.8 years – a record high.
That was an increase of 0.1 year from 2011 when it was 78.7 years, according to a new report on mortality in the USA from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. And this is how it all ends for so many of us (see photo below).
That is not how it is for Italians in Italy or most Italians in the US.
According to an article in The LOCAL IT, entitled Cheese, wine and Family: The Italian way to live beyond 100, revealed that Italy has tripled the number of its people over 100 years old in less than 2 decades. Why is that?
I am no specialist and, frankly, not the greatest researcher either. One thing that I have found is that the average life span of an Italian is about 83 years old—better than that of the United States. The health
care system has been ranked 2nd in the WORLD too, way ahead of ours. And I do not see a whole lot of lonely elders, sitting around in sweatshirts caged in their wheelchairs either.
I see them surrounded by their grandchildren. I see them in the kitchen making bucatini for the family. I see them walking the passegiata, the evening stroll, with their entire family every night. And I see them dressed to the nines and happy with themselves.
Old men gather daily in the streets of Italy. They still hang with their friends in their original friendship groups. They drink wine every day, and maybe Strega. Some are still smoking. Wow.
According to www.worldlifeexpectancy.com here is the ranking for Italy vs. the US for top causes of death (1st number is Rate/100,000, 2nd is World Ranking for each country—the higher the better. Italy is overall better. Especially in heart attacks, Alzheimers and lung disease, but why?)
STANDARDIZED DEATH RATE
TOP 50 CAUSES OF DEATH
Coronary Heart Disease
Road Traffic Accidents
Patrick, Sister Annie, Uncle John, Sister Roro, Uncle Dan and Sister Bena, age 91 to 87.
I have a hunch about life expectancy for Italians.
Above you will see my siblings, my father and Me. My dad will turn 92 in July.
Want to live longer? I am no doctor but I think your family can help you. Turn off the phones when you are together. Talk to each other. Go for a walk. Dance in the living room. Have a glass or two of wine and love one another. LAUGH! BE PASSIONATE about your family, your dreams and your life. That’s how the Italians I know usually act. Follow your passions too. Travel, Sing, play. We do.
Ciao for now!
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Ciao for Now!
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