There are over six-hundred Iowans who’ve reached the age of 100 or beyond, and the director of the Iowa Department of Elder Affairs says the number of Iowa “centenarians” will only increase in the next few years. Mark Haverland says housing is better, people eat better and there’s better health care for the elderly. Haverland says “medicine has made it hard to die,” and that means while most of the elderly in Iowa’s future will be able to be independent into their 80s and 90s, many will have to spend the early 100s in a nursing home. Haverland says “it’ll deplete your resources both financially and emotionally and spiritually” as the growing number of Iowans over the age of 100 experience extended periods of extreme physical frailty. Still, Haverland says it should be great to live longer, and see the technological and medical changes that will occur over your lifetime. According to the Department of Elder Affairs website, there are “approximately 628 individuals” living in Iowa who “centenarians” — people 100 years of age or older. Ninety-percent of those centenarians are women and most live in a nursing home.
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