This week we bring you the stories of seniors all over the world who are making and breaking records by simply being themselves. One senior in Houston helped make the Super Bowl spectacular, one centenarian is dropping a new album, and another centenarian made her own dreams come true at a ceremony with her soulmate. Caregivers, home care aides and loved ones can all take inspiration from these super-seniors who know that age is no barrier when it comes to doing their own thing.
John Dansdill of Houston make some personal history last week when he won a volunteer position at Super Bowl LI. More than 30,000 people applied for just 10,000 openings, and John was one of the relatively few selected. What makes John stand out in the still-large crowd of 10,000 is that he is the oldest volunteer in the bunch – at age 85, he may be the oldest Super Bowl volunteer ever. Super Bowl volunteers work a minimum of 12-15 hours in the week before the Super Bowl, and some put in much more. John is no stranger to hard work, or sports, as he still competes on an 80+ softball team. A native of Iowa who traveled widely, John is neither a Patriots nor a Falcons fan – he’s a fan of Houston, grandfather clocks, and trying new things.
If you fought in the European theater in World War II, you know Vera Lynn as the ‘Forces Sweetheart’. After 93 years in the entertainment industry, she has a large collection of hit records and honors, including a Companion of Honor awarded by Queen Elizabeth II just last year. Now, at age 100, she is about to release a new album of remakes of her own songs, duets, and a previously unheard cover of the Rod Stewart song ‘Sailing’. Eight years ago, she became the oldest living artist to have a number one album on the United Kingdom’s Billboard charts, and now she will set a new record for centenarians in the music industry. Dame Vera Lynn’s March album will be the first ever new material released by a (living) centenarian, and incidentally, is breaking the record she set at age 97 with her 2014 album!
Valdemira Rodrigues de Oliveira was thinking about how much she loves her new fiancé Aparecido Dias Jacob when she said yes to his proposal. The lovebirds wanted to get married right away, but doctors at the nursing home where they both live didn’t think living together was medically sound for either of them. Still, Valda and Jaco made do with a lavish and festive engagement ceremony before 150 friends, family and fellow residents, complete with flowers, cake and a live band! Why all the pomp and circumstance? Valda, at age 106, is now the world’s oldest fiancée, and possibly the world’s oldest cougar as Jaco is just 66!