“Coca” lives alone. She follows the same routine as 40 or 50 years ago, when her children left the mother’s home to start their own family. She gets up in the morning after resting all night; she drinks some mates, eats something, tidies up her bedroom, runs a couple of errands, cooks, has lunch, and washes the dishes. She always looks for some moment of the day to talk with her neighbors, many of whom have known each other for decades. All this daily activity would not be remarkable if it were not for the fact that “Coca” turned 100 years old yesterday.
Amelia Andreoni was born on August 1, 1922 in Temperley. When she was 9 years old, she moved with her parents and siblings to La Plata and she stayed in this city forever. She married Rafael González, she had Rafael and Cristina, and she devoted herself fully to caregiving tasks. She became a widower at the age of 35 and put the maintenance of the family on her shoulder.
The neighbor of the area of the Hippodrome of La Plata not only became part of the exclusive list of centenarians in the Region, but also goes through the exceptional event in impeccable health and without losing the joy that has always characterized her. Precisely because of that jovial and festive spirit, she met in a hall in Tolosa and celebrated her century of existence with her children, her four grandchildren, her four great-grandchildren, nephews and several friends: 35 guests who entertained her and sang the “Happy birthday” in front of a cake and a whole “triperos” party favors, because she is a fan of Gymnastics and ordered all that scenery to be put together for the occasion.
For some time now, the City has not escaped the global phenomenon of life expectancy growth, with a significant increase in people reaching 100 and even exceeding them by several more.
Experts in gerontology call it the “longevity revolution”, which is explained by two factors: the aging of the population in general due to a lower number of births and the low mortality rate in advanced ages due to improvements in living conditions. .
Such is the growth of the older age groups that the United Nations Population Division pointed out that in 2021 there were more than 621,000 people living in the world at least 100 years old. At the same time, the agency predicted that this number is expected to exceed one million by the end of this decade. In 1990 only 92,000 people had reached that milestone.
Life expectancy in Argentina today stands at 75 years for men and 80 years for women -see separately-.
“Living to 100 years of age does not necessarily mean living well, but in general, people who pass 85 years of age arrive with well-being; if they get over that age, they usually feel good,” said Silvia Gascón, director of the Gerontology Master’s program at Isalud University.
In this sense, the specialist stressed that “it was shown that only 20 percent of the good quality of life in older ages is due to genetic reasons” and added: “social ties, having a healthy diet, being active and thinking about life projects represent 80 percent of the causes to continue living well”.
Gascón is also the president of the Red Mayor de La Plata, a space of tireless struggle for the social inclusion of the elderly. “What most influences a good quality of life is the environment and for that there must be accessible cities and friendly cities. That includes many issues: accessibility to transportation and public buildings, but also the good treatment of office employees, respect and love from the family and the possibility of overcoming the digital divide”, she underlined.