| Tue, Jun 03, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

Results: UnitedHealthcare’s Ninth Annual 100@100 Survey

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

centenariansDid you know that there are more than 50,000 people age 100 or older alive in the U.S. today? Every year, UnitedHealthcare surveys 100 centenarians (people age 100 or older) who are Medicare plan members, and reports on their answers. That’s why it’s called the 100@100 Survey, and this is the ninth year it’s been conducted. In 2012, UnitedHealthcare also started giving a companion survey to 65-year-old Baby Boomers, to compare their attitudes with those 35+ years older.

So what can the survey tell us about centenarians, Baby Boomers and living a long life? Here are a few of the many insights gained.

  • Positive thinking can be powerful. In general, the centenarians surveyed had very positive attitudes towards aging. Two-thirds hadn’t expected to make it to 100. But now that they’re there, they feel good about it. Their top three answers about how it felt to make it to 100 were “blessed” (36%), “happy” (31%) and “surprised” (12%). No one reported feeling sad or burdened, and only 3% said they felt lonely.
  • Age is just a number. Apparently, whether you’re 100 or 65, you can feel younger than you are. The 100@100 centenarians reported feeling like they were 83, on average, while the 65-year-old Boomers reported feeling 55.
  • Being younger doesn’t necessarily mean being healthier. When asked what was the most difficult thing to maintain when getting older, 20% of centenarians cited their physical health. Interestingly, more than twice that number of Baby Boomers—35 years younger—cited declining physical health as the hardest part of aging. And over 50% of the Boomers surveyed believe that their physical health will be the single hardest thing to maintain as they age.
  • To age right, try living right. Almost 9 out of 10 centenarians reported going to their doctor for an annual exam. And almost a quarter make sure they get regular vaccinations and other preventive screenings. More than half walk or hike at least once a week, and almost a third do weekly strength-training exercises.
  • Hail to the chief… dinner guest. Betty White has long been the top choice on centenarians’ list of people they’d most like to invite over to dinner. This year, for the first time, she was knocked to the #2 slot. Who got #1? President Obama. But Betty’s still #1 for the Baby Boomers.

Want to learn more about the 100@100 Survey? You can dig deeper into the methodology and results, or watch a quick video overview. Just click on the video screen image below.

100 @ 100

For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.


Your Guide to Medicare’s Preventive Services: Inspired to try your best to reach 100, too? Take a cue from the centenarians surveyed and make sure you’re doing all you can to take care of your preventive health. Read this publication, or hear it read in 3 different podcasts, all posted on Medicare.gov.


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