Aging Well at All Ages

Reporting by Ibby Caputo, Photos by Ricky Carioti -- The Washington Post
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Prayer in the morning. Prayer first thing in the day. Prayer. Eating properly. Activity. If you don't work a job, volunteer activity. Going out and

dining. Or recreation: You know, different places, activity, theater. Annual checkups to stay out of the doctor's office."

Reginald Johnson, 67

District Heights

Retired postal supervisor

Married, three children and three grandchildren

"Aging well means being able to stay active.

Being able to carry on a normal life. Mainly I'm just concerned about health problems. Being able to have care when I need it. Being able to have a good life."

Garland McCutchen, 60

Washington

Former assistant

funeral director

Married, two stepchildren

"It means a lot to me, I guess. I'm 57 years old, so I'm getting there. Sometimes I wish I were younger and knew what I know now. But that's all hindsight. But what I'm doing, I wouldn't trade it."

Terry Oliver, 57

Hampton, Va.

Construction inspector

Divorced, no children

"Being graceful and not trying to be a teenager again. Not trying to be younger than you are. Being comfortable with who you are. It's okay. And today's my birthday. . . . I'm single, no children, and I guess that's why I'm doing so well."

Sylvia Williams, 62

Temple Hills

School counselor at

Walker Mill Middle School

Single, no children

"Aging well is having

an active life after 70. Having fulfillment after retirement."

Mark Busbee, 45

Clinton

Sales manager

Married, two children

***

"Nobody knows, only God. God takes care of everybody. The Bible says live today. Nobody knows tomorrow. Only today. You see the accident with the Metro? In the morning I pray. I pray, 'Take care' when I leave, and coming in, I say, 'Thank you, God, for today.' "

Marcelina Amaya, 42

College Park

Housekeeper, J.W. Marriott

Married, four children

and five grandchildren

* * *

"Staying healthy and active as you age. . . . I see myself doing things like yoga and walking and swimming -- things that keep my body limber. I want to keep eating healthy. Not necessarily be able to perform the way I can today at 27 or look the same, but keep doing physical exercise the way that I can. And staying mentally active, too. I don't know, always having a new interest. Keep reading new books and learning about new technology. To try to keep learning something new even as I'm getting older."

Sarah Corstang, 27

Silver Spring

Starts law school this fall

Married, no children

* * *

"Aging well just means a good life. Just means living well. Being healthy, exercise, good food."

Alhaji Bundu, 47

Glendale

District taxi driver

Three children

* * *

"I would say it's not so much about looks but overall physical and emotional health."

Tyler Gaffney, 23

Arlington

Paralegal

Single, no children

* * *

"I guess continuing to be curious about life, be it socially or politically. Staying connected to friends. I take a look at my parents and they seem to be insulated. They've got their house and their dogs but are very insular."

Nick Feeney, 27

Washington

Political science student

at University of Montana

Single, no children

* * *

"Aging well means being able to stay engaged in the things that excite and motivate you. But it takes a lot to make that possible. You need a secure retirement to afford the things you want to do, access to health care in order to stay well and active, and long-term-care support to help continue living at home or in your community."

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), 74

Washington

Chairman, Special Senate Committee on Aging

Single, no children

-- Edited excerpts from interviews with Ibby Caputo


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