(Miss Sadie Delany, aged 106, and her sister, Dr. Bessie Delany, deceased at 104, had definite rules for living a long and healthy life. Both exercised every single day, whether they felt like it or not. Both always downed chopped garlic and cod liver oil at breakfast and ate at least seven vegetables at lunchtime. The sisters also made a habit of living as stress-free a life as possible. They steadfastly refused to install a telephone, preferring more personal methods of communication. Other strategies for the sisters’ serenity were published in the Delany Sisters’ Book of Everyday Wisdom in 1994).

Bessie and Sadie, the Delany sisters are famous for remaining physically and mentally active into their second century. After they became 101 and 103 years of age respectively, the book on their experiences was a best-seller book, the television shows were very popular. I am quoting some of their pieces of advice, comments and wisdom:

“No matter how old you get, you think of yourself as young. In our dreams, we are always young.”

Sadie Delany

“Most folks think getting older means giving up, not trying anything new. Well, we don’t agree with that. As long as you can see each day as a chance for something new to happen, something you never experienced before, you will stay young—–even after a century of living, we haven’t tried everything. We‘ve only just started.”

Sadie Delany

“So we do our little bit. Getting involved is satisfying. It keeps us busy and makes us useful. Everyone has something to contribute.”

—Bessie Delany and Bessie Delany on Self-care

“I’d say one of the most important qualities to have is the ability to create joy in your life—-I love my garden so much that I would stay out there all day along if Sadie let me. That’s what I mean about creating joy in your life. We all have to do it for ourselves.”

  • Maintain a healthy weight and diet
  • Stay active
  • Practice fall prevention
  • Make connections-maintain relationships with others
  • See medical personnel regularly—-physician, eye doctor, dentist

“Some people, older people especially, tend to draw into themselves—-they grow isolated. That is a big mistake! You never know when you might need other people, but you need to earn their help. You have to contribute to your community.”

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