The sisters, who are 103 and 106 years old, shared tips on how to keep the firmness of mind and thirst for life in old age, reports CNBC.
Long-lived Ruth Svidler has an impressive memory and is well aware of what is happening in the world. Over the years, both strangers and family members love to talk to her.
“My doctor likes to talk to me,” Svidler says. He says, "You're amazing." And I'm like, "Because I'm old?" And he says, “No! Because you are sophisticated."
Svidler, who lives in a Connecticut nursing home, is proud that she has retained her abilities: "I don't talk like an old lady."
It probably helps that she doesn't think of herself that way. “I don’t feel old,” says Svidler, who turned 103 in December.
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Her sister Shirley Hodes, who lives in North Carolina, shares those sentiments.
“I'm not that old! says Hodes, who is 106 years old. “I don’t feel old, it’s true.” She is still happy to learn something new, especially from books.
“I've never done crossword puzzles,” says Hodes. But I always read a lot. This is the best thing for your mind."
The sisters share their tips for staying fit in old age.
According to her, Svidler "loved to work." She was an amateur actress in local theater productions and remained "very active" both in her synagogue and in various Jewish organizations.
“It's not that I'm that religious,” she says. “But I know that I am Jewish and I like to participate in events.”
As her two children grew older, Hodes took a full-time job as a teacher's assistant. She worked for almost 20 years and only retired at 70. “I enjoyed working in high school,” she says.
An aptitude test showed that she could become a teacher herself. It would be exciting. According to her, she would also be glad to become a journalist, since "I always liked to interview people." Now she uses those skills to meet other residents of her nursing home.
If you are lucky enough to have a job that you enjoy, accept it, as she says.
“It is very important to be passionate about what you are doing,” the woman says.
She says it's nice to "take full advantage of your talents" and "it makes life so much more enjoyable."
2. Keep in touch
Both Hodes and Svidler are enthusiastic about the importance of family and especially a good marriage. “There is nothing better than this,” Svidler says. “How beautiful it is to love and be loved.”
"I was very lucky. My husband was easy to get along with,” says Hodes. Up until his death, they had a "beautiful relationship".
“The people around you, friends, relatives, family,” she adds, “have a huge impact on you. This is what you will remember the most."
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Although Svidler's husband also passed away, the other close relationships she maintained continued for decades. “I like having friends. I love people,” she says. According to her, the former chairman of her congregation still visits her, as does the rabbi.
Curiosity keeps your mind active and busy, says Hodes.
“Some people don't care about anyone but themselves, and I'm not like that. I've always been so interested in hearing people's stories, backstory. They are full of surprises,” she says.
“People love to talk about themselves,” adds Hodes. “Just give them a chance to open up.”
Entertainment that Svidler prefers, enthralls her or gives her interesting ideas. When she was younger, she liked to go to the theater with her friends. “We saw great performances!” she says.
“I don't watch TV except for the news,” she says. - I enjoy reading! This is my passion".
“Older people can dive into themselves when you have illnesses and things like that. It can make it hard to want to know,” says Hodes.
Her thirst for knowledge led her to take audit classes at a community college as soon as she retired. Although she had to sit in the front row to see and hear the instructor, she excelled in the class.
Art and literature also broadened her horizons. “I have some great books,” she says. Lately, she's been listening to non-fiction audiobooks about elephants, Jews, and American opera singer Jessie Norman. “They are very different from my past. There is always something to learn!” she says.
Hodes never had the opportunity to go to college when she was little. This is one of her few regrets. She and Svidler were the youngest of eight children in a cramped apartment. Their parents were immigrants who barely survived. “We had to be careful because there were so many of us,” she says.
However, she acknowledges that "you can't have everything." And "when you have important things in life, you should realize it."
"My secret? I am a happy man. Although I had illnesses and problems, I overcame them, she says. “I am in decent health, I enjoy my health, I am grateful for a wonderful life. It keeps me going and keeps me moving forward."
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These days Svidler cannot travel. Although she used to walk several kilometers every day, her mobility is so limited that she cannot even go outside all the time. She wants her body to be as strong as her mind.
But she is grateful for what she has. “Fortunately, I can still read,” she says, “and I read wonderful things.”
Hods is of the same opinion. “If you want to live long in good shape, be grateful,” she notes. - I'm satisfied. I have been blessed."
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