100th birthday cakeOn Friday, April 26th, Griswold Home Care of Baltimore and Howard County client Goldie Miller celebrated a remarkable milestone — her 110th birthday. Surrounded by friends, family, and TV news crews from ABC and WBAL, Goldie ate birthday cake and was serenaded with “Happy Birthday” by Charm City Sound, a quartet from the Pride of Baltimore Chorus of the Sweet Adelines International Organization. “I feel good today!” Goldie said happily.

The Miller family says that Goldie could not have enjoyed the long, happy life she has so far without the help of Griswold Home Care. About six years ago, they decided it was time to bring in someone to help them with Goldie’s daily care. Of utmost importance to them was that she be able to continue living happily at home, where she has been with her daughter near the heart of downtown Pikesville, MD in District 11 for the past 44 years. The Miller family chose Griswold Home Care to provide this in-home care because Goldie “needed personalized care, not institutionalized care,” says son Dr. Gerald Miller. “That’s what Griswold Home Care offers.”

See more local coverage of Goldie’s party by WBAL here.

After six years of care, the Miller family has nothing but praise for Griswold. “Griswold Home Care has been so dependable,” says Goldie’s daughter Natalie Miller. “We could not do it without Griswold Home Care. They are wonderful and their caregivers are wonderful to my mother, Goldie.”

Goldie grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. She is one of seven siblings, all of whom she has survived. She married a physician in 1924 and was happily married for 34 years, until his passing in 1958. Now happily retired, Goldie previously worked selflessly at her husband’s medical practice, and later, at her son’s medical practice.

With the support of her family and caregiver, Goldie finds pleasure in the simple joys of life. Her favorite food is mashed potatoes, and she eats them every day. Her favorite pastimes are watching the television, especially the news, and listening to music, her favorite being Lawrence Welk. She cherishes living at home and the time she spends with her son and daughter every day.

There are only about 316,600 centenarians alive in the world. Only about one in 1,000 of them is a super centenarian — someone who has lived to the age of 110 or more. How does someone like Goldie achieve such a long life?

Results from the famous Danish Twin Study, published in 2009, indicate that less than 25 percent of how long the average person lives is dictated by genes. The majority of how long and well a person lives, then is dictated by lifestyle. Scientists are now studying certain pockets of the world — nicknamed the Blue Zones — where people reach age 100 at rates ten times greater than in the United States. According to information from bluezones.com, there are nine common denominators among the people in these places.

Common Habits of populations that reach age 100 10x that of the US average:

  1. Move naturally: Through activities like gardening and walking to the market daily, people in these areas move as part of everyday life.
  2. Purpose: Having a sense of purpose can add seven years to your life.
  3. Down Shift: People in the Blue Zones take part in routines that diminish stress.
  4. 80% Rule: People in these areas stop eating when they are 80 percent full.
  5. Plant Slant: Beans are the cornerstone in most centenarian diets.
  6. Wine @ 5: Moderate drinkers (1-2 glasses a day) tend to outlive non-drinkers.
  7. Belong: Being a part of a faith-based community seems to be something many centenarians have in common.
  8. Loved Ones First: People in the Blue Zones put family first.
  9. Right Tribe: Social circles that support these healthy behaviors are an essential part of most centenarians’ lives.

No one can be sure exactly which factors have contributed to Goldie’s long, healthy life. But she certainly enjoys the support of a tight-knit family community, and that support includes the caregiving provided by Griswold. Margie Foster, Executive Director of the branch of Griswold Home Care servicing the Baltimore/Howard County district, felt proud to celebrate Goldie’s 110th birthday celebration with her and the Miller family. “For the past 6 years, Griswold Home Care has been honored to play a role in fortifying Goldie’s quality of life while she lives at home with her family. Goldie’s good health, happiness, and long life exemplifies all the positive benefits that seniors experience when they are properly supported by experienced caregivers and remain with their families in their homes,” she says.

  • Beverly Bell

    The article on Miss Goldie was heartwarming. I enjoy it very much. I am a proud caregiver for Griswold Home Care. Happy Birthday!!

    • Derek Jones

      Hi Beverly! Thank you for your comment. Goldie has touched our hearts as well. Thank you for your dedication in supporting older adults and choosing to be a caregiver.

  • Michele Dihlmann

    I enjoyed your article very much, How wonderful to hear of an older adult aging in place and with such great support. Your article made me smile!

  • Esther Oakley

    It is really great to hear about a home care company treating their clients so well! It isn’t often someone lives to be that old, she must of had a really healthy life. In home care companies it is important to find ones that give each one of their members great attention, friendship, and love, after all, at that age it is great to be surrounded by friends.