Dr. Thomas Perls visited Ridgewood on May 17th, 2018 to speak with one hundred Ridgewood High School students and faculty members at the Ridgewood Library in the afternoon. That evening, Dr. Perls spoke with one hundred twenty members of the Ridgewood community at the Ridgewood Community Center in Village Hall. Dr. Perls is a physician, geriatrician, and author of Living to 100: Lessons in Maximizing your Potential at Any Age. In addition, he is the lead researcher in the study of Aging at Boston University School of Medicine and he leads the National Institute on Aging funded New England Centenarian Study, the largest study of people living to 100 years and older in the world. Dr. Perls also directs the Long Life Family Study at Boston University. These studies are leading the way in finding out how and why centenarians and their children, who are in their 70s and 80s, live the vast majority of their lives disability-free. Dr. Perls’ research reveals that the older you get, the healthier you’ve been. Dr. Perls visit was funded through Age Friendly Ridgewood and generous contributions from The Valley Hospital and Van Dyk Health Care. Thank you to our valuable partners at the Ridgewood Library and Ridgewood Parks and Recreation who allowed use of their facilities to provide presentation space for Dr. Perls.
Dr. Thomas Perls speaking with Ridgewood community members about the key factors connected to living a long, healthy life. These factors include having a positive attitude and managing stress; exercising 30 minutes a day; developing your interests and continue learning new things; eating a diet rich in fish, chicken, whole grains, fruits and vegetables and limiting processed foods; and stop smoking cigarettes. He emphasized that genetics plays a role, but that a healthy lifestyle is the key to living disability free. The responses from those in attendance were positive and they appreciated hearing about healthy aging for an expert who has been studying people who live to 100+.
Dr. Perls presenting to high school students at Ridgewood Library. Their mentor and faculty advisor said of the students who attended the presentation, “In speaking with students today, they indeed were impressed favorably with not only the likelihood of living a long, productive life but also to be in control of the quality and extent by making good lifestyle decisions! I would say that they learned something important!”