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Evercare 100 @ 100 Survey


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100-Year-Olds Using Latest Technology to Stay Connected to Family, Friends, Current Events, According to Third Annual Poll
Evercare (Businesswire) - 29 July 2008


  • Some Stay In Touch Through E-mail, Google Searches, Text Messaging, Cell Phones and Online Dating
  • More Than Half See 2008 Presidential Race As More Important Than Previous Elections
  • Sixty-Three Percent Say Healthy Lifestyle Choices – Not Genetics – Contribute to Longevity

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The third annual Evercare 100@100 Survey™ released today finds that the keys to longevity are staying connected to family, friends and current events. The poll of 100 centenarians shifts conventional stereotypes on aging by revealing that some of the oldest Americans are using the latest technologies to keep up and stay close – talking on cell phones, sending emails, “Googling” lost acquaintances, surfing Wikipedia and even online dating.

“We serve Centenarians and other older Americans every day who inspire and educate us about the keys to longevity – they are teaching us what it means to live longer, healthier, happier lives,” said Dr. John Mach, a geriatrician and chairman of Evercare, a part of UnitedHealth Group. “We conduct the Evercare 100@100 Survey™ to understand the secrets to successful aging and to put those findings into action to better serve our members – helping them maintain their independence and achieve better health outcomes.”

Created to be a cultural snapshot of 100 Americans turning 100 or older in 2008, this year’s Evercare 100@100 Survey™ also polled 900 of those in other generations to compare and contrast the generational findings on topics of maintaining relationships and staying independent. The other generations surveyed included G.I. (ages 84-98), Silent (ages 63-83), Baby Boomers (ages 44-62), Gen X (ages 30-43) and Millennials (ages 20-29). According to the 2007 U.S. Census Bureau data, there are more than 84,000 Centenarians in the United States, and that number is projected to increase seven-fold, to 580,000, by 2040.

Among the key findings of the 2008 Evercare 100@100 Survey™:

Talk 2 U L8R: Centenarians use latest technology to stay connected, informed and engaged:

  • An apple a day may keep the doctor away: …but these Centenarians say staying close to friends and family is most important to healthy aging (90 percent). Keeping the mind active (90 percent) and laughing and having a sense of humor (88 percent) also ranked high for living longer.
  • Surveyed Centenarians are no technophobes: 19 percent say they use cell phones to keep in touch with friends and family. Other technology used to stay in touch includes: e-mail (7 percent), sending or receiving digital photos by email (4 percent), and text messaging (1 percent).
  • Love 2.0: As many Centenarians as Baby Boomers (3 percent) say they have dated someone they met on an online dating site. Twelve percent of Centenarians surveyed say they have used the Internet and some have “Googled” someone they have lost contact with (2 percent) or have visited someone’s personal Web site (2 percent).

-- Centenarians are "silver surfers":

-- Use the online encyclopedia "Wikipedia" (3 percent)

-- Purchased a gift online (3 percent)

-- Used the Internet to research a health topic (2 percent)

-- Have visited a political Web site (2 percent)

-- Have made travel arrangements and plans online (1 percent)

“If I could leave any message, never stop learning. Period. That's it,” said Evercare member and Maryland-based Centenarian Maurice Eisman.

Turning out at the polls…Centenarians are staying on top of current events

  • Centenarians have seen a slew of historical presidential match-ups: FDR defeat Hoover, Kennedy defeat Nixon, Reagan defeat Carter and Clinton defeat Bush I. But majorities (54 percent) of surveyed 100-year-olds say that the 2008 election is more important than previous presidential elections.
  • Heading to the polls: In keeping with typical voting habits in which older voters regularly turn out at the polls, 70 percent of Centenarians surveyed say they are very likely to vote in this year’s presidential election, as compared to only 60 percent of Millennials surveyed.

When asked if voting is important, 100-year-old Evercare member and Minnesota residentMarie Keeler replied, “I don’t think I have missed an election since I was able to vote … I think everybody should have something to say in what’s going on in their life and not just take everything for granted.”

Tuning in…Centenarians Know Their Pop Culture

  • Guess who’s coming to dinner?: Centenarians surveyed chose positive role models – three African Americans: Bill Cosby (63 percent), Tiger Woods (62 percent), and Oprah Winfrey (58 percent) – as their celebrity dinner companions. Bill Cosby was the favorite dinner guest of all generations surveyed.
  • Guess who’s not invited?: Centenarians apparently are keeping up with the tabloids when it comes to celebrities and their “bad behavior” – the most unwelcome dinner guests were Britney Spears (53 percent) and Howard Stern (47 percent) whom Centenarians singled out to specifically “not invite.”
  • Everyone really is watching American Idol:The Show tops the TV ratings and, in the survey, every four out of 10 Centenarians knew who judge Simon Cowell is; 45 percent could identify 2005 Season 4 “Idol” winner Carrie Underwood.
  • Not the “Apple of Their Eye”: Although last year’s Evercare 100 @ 100 Survey™ revealed that some Centenarians are staying in tune by listening to music on iPods, Apple CEO Steve Jobs had the least name recognition among 100-year-olds (74 percent did not know who he was). However, 51 percent of Millennials and 48 percent of Gen Xers didn’t know who he was either.
  • The When Harry Met Sally question: Seventy percent of Centenarians answered “yes” to the popular 20-year-old movie’s question: Can men and women just be friends? But it was Baby Boomers (80 percent), the generation depicted in the movie, who ranked highest among the generations in believing that platonic friendships can exist between the sexes.

Three Key Ingredients to the Elixir of Longevity: Relationships, Independence and Lifestyle Choices

-- Little white lies can spell big trouble: Centenarians surveyed say that being honest with each other, even if the truth sometimes hurts, is the most important factor in a lasting relationship (91 percent). They also say it is very important to have fun and laugh together (88 percent) and to respect each other's independence (83 percent).


-- Stand by your man (or woman)?: While 51 percent of Centenarians polled felt that you should stand by your partner even if you think they are wrong or made a mistake - Centenarians ranked the lowest of all generations to believe this is important to relationships. Centenarians also were the least likely generation to rank the following in terms of importance to lasting relationships:

-- Saying "you're sorry" even if you don't think you were wrong (57 percent)

-- Sharing the same interests or hobbies (35 percent)


  • “Ink-a-dink-a-do”: Four percent of Centenarians surveyed have gotten a tattoo with a loved one’s name or something that reminds them of a loved one. While tattoos are trendier among younger generations today, survey respondents from the G.I. Generation (“up and coming” Centenarians) are the least likely of all generations surveyed to wear their love on their sleeve (3 percent).
  • Love can be blind: More surveyed Centenarians (15 percent) have been on a blind date than Millennials (13 percent).
  • Independence has no age: Contrary to conventional stereotypes, two-thirds of Centenarians feel very independent in their lives right now. A large majority (81 percent) say that maintaining a sense of independence is one of the keys to healthy aging.
  • Defining independence: While younger generations consider the ability to drive and travel key factors in feeling independent, Centenarians are more grounded. Those 100-year-olds surveyed feel that independence comes with the simple things such as the ability to take care of themselves on a daily basis (94 percent), staying in good health (93 percent), and being able to make their own financial and health decisions (89 percent).
  • It’s your life: Most Centenarians surveyed (63 percent) say they believe healthy aging comes from lifestyle choices, not from genetics or other factors beyond our control.

You Gotta Have Faith

-- In the generational comparisons, the survey found that older Americans increase their sense of spirituality when it comes to relationships and a sense of independence:

-- Centenarians said choosing a partner with the same religious background is very important to a relationship (63 percent), a steady decline through the generations ending with Millennials (35 percent).

-- In terms of a sense of independence, again Centenarians ranked spirituality as very important (85 percent) declining through the ages with Millennials at 66 percent.

“After three years of conducting this survey we’re starting to see some common themes emerge when it comes to the keys to living longer,” said Dr. Mach. “It’s more about the things under our control – our lifestyle choices, our spirituality and our interest in staying engaged in the world around us. Centenarians are a remarkable generation of Americans whose life experiences, positive outlook and desire to continue to try new things should be an inspiration to us all.”

Evercare, one of the nation’s largest health care coordination programs for people who have chronic or advanced illness, are older or have disabilities, conducts the annual Evercare 100 @ 100 Survey™ to help inform the personalized, compassionate care of its members, which includes approximately 900 Centenarians. Since 2006, the Evercare 100@100 Survey™ has provided anecdotal insight into the lives and lifestyles of Centenarians, one of the fastest-growing segments of the population.

Survey Methodology

For the 2008 survey, Gfk Roper Public Affairs & Media conducted a total of 1,000 telephone interviews April 16 through May 4, 2008 with U.S. resident’s age 20 and higher. Eight hundred of these respondents were obtained using Random Digit Dialing (RDD) procedures to provide statistically representative samples of the U.S. population within each age group from age 20-83. The margin of error ranges from +/- 5-10 percentage points across the age subgroups reported. In addition, GfK Roper interviewed 100 Centenarians (ages 99 and higher at the time of the interview) and G.I. Generation respondents (ages 84-98) obtained from a non-probability sample of older Americans.

About Evercare

Evercare is one of the nation’s largest care coordination programs for people who have long-term or advanced illness, are older or have disabilities. Founded in 1987, Evercare today serves more than 330,000 people nationwide through Medicare, Medicaid and private-pay health plans, programs and services – from health plans for people in community and skilled nursing settings, to caregiver support and hospice care. Evercare offerings are designed to enhance health and independence, and in the complex world of health care, make getting care easier. Evercare is part of Ovations, a division of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) dedicated to the health care needs of Americans over age 50. For more information about Evercare, go to

Note to Editors: For the full report of the 2008 Evercare 100 @ 100 Survey™ and the 2006 and 2007 surveys, visit

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

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