The Iowa Department on Aging is looking for residents of the state who are 100-years-old or older. Department spokesperson, Machelle Shaffer, says they keep a registry of all centenarians in the state.
“To date, according to the U.S. Census, we have 846 here in Iowa. And we add to it every year, we actually add to it every day, every week every month that people are telling us about folks who are going to be turning 100. Or maybe were 100 and weren’t yet on our registry list,” Shaffer says.
“And so that’s the reason we have this call for new centenarians. So, we are hoping folks will call in or e-mail and let us know of someone in their life, neighbor or friend or family member.” Shaffer it’s important to recognize Iowans who have been around for a century or more.
“We have an event every year — an event that the governor and lieutenant governor will attend — it’s call the Centenarian Honors Celebration. This year it will be October fourth here in Des Moines in the Science Center. It’s going to be the science of aging as the theme. We really want to honor those folks who paved the way for the rest of us,” Shaffer says.
Iowa is third in the nation for number centenarians per capita behind North and South Dakota. “You know we are hardy folks and a lot of the stories we hear every year from the centenarians is that many of them came from farms, so they have farming backgrounds,” Shaffer says.
“You know they worked hard, the cite a healthy diet and working hard especially as one of the reasons for their longevity.” If you know of someone who is a centenarian and is not on the state list, you can call Shaffer at: 515-725-3333 or toll-free 800-532-3213.
Or you can send her an e-mail at: [email protected] .