Last fall Ralph, age 104, and Dorothy Kohler, age 103, celebrated their 86th wedding anniversary, continuing strong as the “Longest Married Couple in America.”
Ralph said the secret to a long marriage is simple. Togetherness.
Like most couples, Ralph and Dorothy had individual interests that the other did not initially share. But instead of letting those interests separate them, they went down each path… together.
Dorothy loved ballroom dancing. So they took it up together, traveling the country to participate in competitions and earning hundreds of awards along the way.
Ralph loved trap shooting. So they took that up together too. They were even part of the All-American shooting team at different times over the years.
Ralph and Dorothy credit this time together as relationship-strengthening, although they’ll concede practicing the skill of compromise probably helped some too.
Whether or not they knew it at ages 16 and 17 when they married, part of their longevity, as two now centenarians, might be directly related to their relationship.
It turns out that people who have maintained close relationships with others report higher morale, healthy attachment, and trust in their support systems, all of which may be adding to their health in their 100s.
Louis Cozolino, professor of psychology and author of Timeless: Nature’s Formula for Health and Longevity, says, “Our brains are social organs and that means we are wired to connect with each other and to interact in groups. A life that maximizes social interaction and human-to-human contact is good for the brain at every stage, particularly for the aging brain.”
Here at Cogir Senior Living, we have designed our communities around connection. There are always a wide range of activities available to residents. We love a good gardening session as much as we love a lively Friday Night Happy Hour. Other activities you may find across our communities include fitness classes, swimming, yoga and tai-chi, walking clubs, bridge, movies, cultural outings, choir and painting. And that’s just to name a few!
Connection is part of the joy of life, and knowing that it can also be a key to good health and longevity is all the more reason we are happy to provide these opportunities to our residents. Ask about our activities calendar if you’d like to check out your favorite hobby for yourself. We would love to show you!
You can schedule a tour by calling your local Cogir Senior Living community today.
Cozolino, Louis. Timeless: Nature’s Formula for Health and Longevity. W. W. Norton & Company, 2018.
"America’s longest living married couple celebrates 86th anniversary – CNN Newsource." CNN, Sept. 2021