Six Ways to live to 102 and stay happy

The last surviving member of the Stanford class of 1933, Dr. Ephraim Engleman, is turning 102 in a few weeks. There are many interesting accomplishments to his credit.


He still works part-time as director of the Rosalind Russell Medical Research Center for Arthritis and has no intentions of retiring. As a younger man he was an accomplished violinist and continues to play regularly. The gracefully aging resident of San Mateo, California lives with his wife Jean, who is 97. They have three children and six grandchildren.

Here are his secrets to healthy and happy longevity:

1. Keep working past the traditional retirement age.

If people retire, they need to keep mentally and physically active by acquiring a new hobby or pastime.

2. Avoid falls at all costs.

Older people tend to lose balance and falls can be very serious. They can cause serious fractures for the elderly and result in unforeseen effects for the heart and on blood pressure.

3. Accomplish career goals. It can lead to a lifetime of satisfaction.

Dr. Engleman became a leader in rheumatology including president of the American College of Rheumatology, and president of the International League Against Rheumatism, which is in about 40 countries.

4. Turn failure into success.

After being turned down for a residency in San Francisco, Dr. Engleman found another job in pathology, studying cancer patients which led to a position at UCSF.

5. Persevere through physical problems.

Dr. Engleman admits that older people will confront medical problems . For him – a ruptured appendix – a minor cardiac problem. He told Huffington Post that his greatest misfortune was carpal tunnel syndrome which is related to his ability to play the violin or piano. "The result has been a disaster. I've lost all sensitivity in most of the hand. So it makes it difficult to bow," he said.

Although the results are depressing and restrict his ability as a violinist, Dr. Engleman still plays. "My colleagues know the problem and they tolerate me."

6. Marriage is bliss.

Dr. Engleman has been married to Jean for 72 years,  and considers her his biggest inspiration. His advice is simple: "Pick the right companion."