Rosalind Wallach (left) dances with long-time partner, Jack Forman (right) at the 2019 Centenarian Luncheon.
One of our favorite annual events at KleinLife is the Centenarian Luncheon, which honors the birthdays of our 100+-year-old clients, celebrating their incredible journey as one community.
What is (Rosalind Wallach's) successful secret to aging? “Moderation. Tolerance. Gratitude. That’s it.”
Since we could not host our Centenarian Luncheon due to the pandemic this year, I was eager to check in with centenarian Rosalind (Ros) Wallach and her long-time partner, Jack Forman. The couple met at KleinLife 20 years ago and since have called each other “soulmates”. What is her successful secret to aging? “Moderation. Tolerance. Gratitude. That’s it.,” said Ros. Jack, also a centenarian and a member for 45 years, adding, “I think that the worst thing is stress, and you should try to avoid it in the best way that you can.” When asked how it feels to be 100 years old, both replied that they were happy to be here experiencing the beautiful celebrations in life, and spending time with one another, their families, and at KleinLife.
“Knowing KleinLife will be there when I need help helps,” said Jack, “The home delivered meals have been a lifesaver for me.”
KleinLife has offered them the chance to indulge in various exercise classes, such as swimming, racquetball, and tennis. Ros says that she misses these, as well as our Opera and World Events programs the most. Though this couple was sad with the news of our temporary closing, they made sure to stay positive. “Knowing KleinLife will be there when I need help helps,” said Jack, “The home delivered meals have been a lifesaver for me.” I asked them what is the first thing they would do once the quarantine is over – both of them answered they would love to have lunch at KleinLife.
They mentioned how thankful they are to the KleinLife family for allowing them to participate and have fun every day. When asked what message they would like to pass along, Ros said, “Don’t insist on being right all of the time even if you are.” She also passed along some healthy, lifestyle tips, such as food patterns and the importance of exercise. Jack simply said, “Stop complaining.” Their advice, as well as their life stories are inspiring.
Centenarians have always been an interesting subject focused on by gerontologists. What is the true secret behind longevity? ...Is it living a “stress-free life” as Jack mentioned? Or is it having a “positive attitude,” which is Rosalind’s approach?
Centenarians have always been an interesting subject focused on by gerontologists. What is the true secret behind longevity? Well, the answer really depends on the definition of successful, healthy aging. However, there is no simple answer. Is it living a “stress-free life” as Jack mentioned? Or is it having a “positive attitude,” which is Rosalind’s approach? Studies show that both of these are actually huge benefits alongside family connectedness, regular exercise, and a healthy diet.
As staff members, we keep all of this in mind. As we continue to face the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we help our seniors to stay strong, motivated, and connected. This is why at KleinLife, our staff makes personal calls to check on our seniors’ wellbeing. As a community, we are growing even closer during these difficult times. Our seniors notice and make sure to let us know they appreciate our efforts.
Director of Support Services at KleinLife