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State looking for centenarians to highlight their longevity

DES MOINES — If you or someone you know is 100 or older — the Iowa Department on Aging wants to hear from you.

The Department has long held an annual recognition of centenarians, and spokesperson Marissa Vance says they’re now adding online profiles to the mix. “We ask different questions like what is your biggest achievement, what is something a little bit about their family, a quote they live by, and of course one of our favorite questions, what is the secret to your longevity,” Vance says.

Vance says they are continuing the certificates signed by the governor recognizing their status. “That’s just something that they can hang in their rooms, pass down to through their families. It’s a big achievement and we want to honor them for their 100th year,” Vance says. “And more toward the winter months we are going to hold a virtual event where we read everybody’s name, the governor is going to do an introduction, and then we are going to add the video recording to our website, and that will be up for about a year.”

Vance says the change in technology these elder citizens have seen in the last century is one of the biggest things she’s noticed in compiling their information. “Some of them have Ipads or Grandpads now that they are on Facebook with, and it’s kind of just crazy to think that sliced bread was just a thing when they were kids. Our now kids are like ‘you had to slice your own bread, what was that?’ So just some of those fun things — they have just seen so many changes throughout their lifetime.”

Vance says if you are a centenarian or will be turning 100 by December 31st — go to the Iowa Department on Aging website to register. She says if you search for the department you can find the website and go to the tab for centenarians and there is an online form to register.

Vance says they consistently have 100 or more certificates for the governor to sign every year to honor these Iowa elders.

She says the oldest centenarians they were able to honor last year were 107 or 108 years old. Vance says it is important to celebrate these Iowans for their strength, endurance, and collective wisdom. Vance says they’d like to hear from you as soon as possible to get all the information processed.


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