Centenarian Celebrates Birthday and 25 Years of Life at Lexington

November 18, 2013

Living to be 100 is unusual, even in this day and age of a rapidly growing senior citizen population.  Living to be 100 and still healthy is truly something to sing about.  On November 21, 25-year Lombard Lexington resident Eleanor Olson will celebrate her hundredthbirthday.  “I’m amazed,” said Eleanor of her soon-to-be centenarian status.  “I never thought I’d make it this long or live at Lexington for 25 years.”  With a casual “eh” and an air of acceptance, Eleanor admits to having some aches and pains that “go with the territory” and wearing hearing aids for the past 12 years.  “I’m nosy—I want to hear what’s going on!” she quipped.  “Truly, I feel very fortunate to be able to do what I’m doing.”

What Eleanor is doing, and has done all her life, is staying active, both physically and mentally.  While she attributes her longevity mainly to good genes (her mother lived to be 97), she also credits “good living,” including participating in an aerobics class twice a week, 15 minutes of exercise on her own every day but Sunday, following a healthy diet, and keeping busy.  “Over the years at Lexington, I’ve been involved with just about everything,” said Eleanor.  For the past five years, she has worked in Lexington’s resale shop, pricing, stocking and selling.  Fully aware of the need to keep her mind active as well as her body, Eleanor plays pinochle and other games and is also an avid reader.  “Fortunately, my eyes are still good enough to read,” she said with another “eh.”

Eleanor’s activities extend outside the Lexington community.  Some Sundays, she takes a cab to her church in Villa Park.  Since living at Lexington, Eleanor has traveled to visit her son in Minnesota, her daughter in Nebraska, and has been to Scandinavia twice as well as London, Alaska, and Iceland.  “I have enjoyed my travels very much,” said the Chicago-born widow who came to Lexington after her husband died.  “I didn’t like living alone.”

In celebration of her 100 years, Eleanor’s children, 71 and 68, are hosting an open house at Lexington to which everyone is invited—members of her family and friends from far and wide as well as Lexington residents and staff.  “It’s good that the party is here [at Lexington], because this really is my home,” said the former resident of Villa Park.  “I have made so many good friends over the years, with new ones coming in all the time, and staff members, too.  I’m glad they let me in 25 years ago; this has been a good place for me—it fits the bill.”


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