Here opportunity and tranquility beckoned. According to Edward King, he stated, “Florida is our American Italy.” Embellishing every piece of historic culture, beachside well being and secure surroundings, Naples and Marco hit the mark. Just as their namesake. Whether it is a beach, fishing, or shopping day, all are available. Just as Naples and Marco Island has evolved, so have the residents and “residences” that encapsulate the ambiance of this once small fissure.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Living well: Collier women lead nation in life expectancy, study shows.
Sally Germain figures some of the practical jokes she and her husband play on each other helps keep her spry.
Bobbi Tolley thinks it is the luck of the draw of good genes.
Gloria Talis found love again late in life.
All three are women of a certain age who show no signs of letting up from their active lifestyles and validate a recent study that women in Collier County are enduring.
Collier women live the longest in the nation with an average life expectancy of 86, which is better than France, Switzerland and Spain, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, IHME, at the University of Washington in Seatte.
Founded in 2007 through funding from the Bill & Melissa Gates Foundation, the institute nonetheless found that life expectancy in most counties in the United States is falling.
Between 2000 and 2007, more than 80 percent of counties fell in life expectancy, which in 2007 ranged anywhere from 65.9 to 81.1 for men and 73.5 to 86 for women.
“I don’t have to clean and I don’t have to cook, ever again,” Germain, 72, said Monday about why she’s looking forward to a long life in Moorings Park.
On Monday afternoon, she and her husband, Roger, 82, enjoyed a fitness class together at the retirement community’s clubhouse.
“We try to have fun every day,” she said.
Change in life expectancy is so widespread that in some states there is a 10-year difference, which can be attributed to preventable risk factors and lifestyle, such as rates of obesity and tobacco use, according to the study.
Five counties in Mississippi have the lowest life expectancy for women, all below 74.5, and the lowest for men, all below 67. Holmes County, Miss. had the lowest life expectancy for both men and women — 65.9 and 73.5 respectively.
Men live the longest in Fairfax County, Va. to 81.1, according to the findings.
The Collier County Health Department was pleased with the findings, knowing this past spring that Collier ranked the healthiest county in the state for the second year in a row, based on an analysis by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
“Many factors contribute to life expectancy, including lifestyle choices such as avoiding tobacco use, engaging in regular physical activity and eating healthy food,” said Dr. Joan Colfer, director of the health department. “In addition, affluence and education levels tend to increase life expectancy, along with participation in evidence-based screening efforts for diseases such as breast, cervical and colon cancer.”
Gloria Talis, 86, agrees that people in Naples have the means to good medical care, they stay active and the pace is slower in Collier compared to other Florida locales, and that helps. She married for the second time this past April to George Talis, 85, in a quiet family ceremony at Moorings Park.
“There’s just so much to keep you interested,” she said, referring to the cultural amenities in Naples.
Tolley, 88, of Naples and Moorings Park, said she’s always been conscious about what she eats but she also is a flexitarian. Even though she doesn’t eat meat regularly, she will have a hamburger if she wants one. She’s slim but doesn’t exercise.
“Exercise is a dirty word,” said Tolley, who said she has no secrets for staying healthy. “I really think if you are lucky enough to have the genes and lucky enough to have lived a good life, all that keeps you going.”
Tony Kapnisis, owner of Nature’s Garden, a health food store and organic cafe in the Naples Plaza, said he believes the clean air and proximity to the beach are a factor for Collier women’s longevity.
“I think people in this town are more health conscious,” he said. “Our clientele, about 80 percent of my customers are women. They always tell me, ‘I wish I could get my husband to take vitamins.’”
And because many people in Collier are retired, they don’t have as much stress, he said.
Beth Jameson, director of the wellness for NCH Healthcare System, said women tend to make the health-care decisions in families so they are more health focused. Still, membership at NCH’s wellness centers near downtown Naples and in North Naples is split evenly among men and women.
She points to the access to great healthcare, fitness programs and the climate that promotes healthy habits.
“It is beautiful here 99 percent of the year,” she said. “I’m honestly not surprised (by the report).”