The secrets to having a 100-year lifespan

The secrets to having a 100-year lifespan
Reaching a milestone: Geh getting a helping hand from the home’s administrator Helen Lai as she blows out the candles on her cake. Looking on are (from left) the home’s chairman Vincent Lee and Kuan.
Photo: The Star/ANN

Don't smoke or drink, exercise daily, go to bed on time and don't make enemies.

These positive habits, according to two residents at the Home for the Aged Simee here, are the secrets to their longevity.

Kuan Lek, the home's oldest resident who will turn 100 on Jan 14, said he keeps himself fit by sticking to a daily exercise regiment.

"I used to do tai chi in the past and I was an expert at it. I wake up at 6am and sleep at 9pm.

"Every day, for at least 30 minutes, I will do some exercises to keep myself fit," he told reporters at an event to celebrate his upcoming birthday and to fete another senior resident at the home.

The residents were treated to a buffet lunch and singing session as Kuan and Geh Suan Bee, 96, cut cakes to celebrate their longevity.

Kuan, who was born in Ipoh, said he was glad to have lived for so long.

He comes from a humble family and only has a primary school education.

Japan invaded Malaya when he was in his 20s, and the experience, said Kuan, taught him many valuable lessons.

"I was independent and started doing odd jobs to survive.

"Adversity brings the best out of you and it has worked for me," he said.

Kuan has never married but he is fine with it.

Geh, who turns 97 on May 4, said her memory is not what it used to be but she is happy to stay at the home.

"You know what's the secret to my longevity? Just be happy and not create any enemies.

"I'm friendly with the residents here and I want to keep it that way," said Geh, who was born in Penang.

When asked how does it feel to be 96, she said, "Who said I'm over 90, I'm 60 and I always feel young."

She said life is all about bridging gaps and making everyone happy.

"When I feel like going anywhere, I will just go.

"There will be someone to chaperone me but they don't instruct me at all.

"I like that freedom and I try to enjoy it as much as possible. That's why I can live long, I guess," said Geh.

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