How to live to be 100

Miss Jean Tranah, who has lived at Bridgemead Care Home for the last ten years, and will be 100 on 10th June, reveals her secrets for those who aspire to centenarianism. Jean, who was born in Wimbledon, left school at 15, was a children’s nurse, then volunteered for the WRNS in World War II. After the War she worked in a children’s home, and then became a companion for 28 years to a lady who was an optician in New Bond Street.

1.Be positive and cheerful

“It’s what you make of situations that counts. I try to think of others and how they are feeling, and be happy and cheerful and not think of myself too much. I would have liked to have been married, but some people are called to a single life and can be a blessing to others and try to help.”

2.”Live one day at a time, one step at a time, and trust in the Lord. I have a deep faith and trust in the Lord, He’s seeing me through. I have lots to thank the Lord for – he has granted me many blessings. I had a fall and was in hospital. My friends prayed for me and their prayers were answered in a wonderful way. There was one vacancy here and I moved in to Bridgemead with these wonderful kind people. People say this is the best home and I agree. I call the staff ministering angels – they are very caring and look after me. It’s lovely to see the river and the greenery around.”

3.Eat well

“My favourite meal is chicken, cream potatoes, sprouts and carrots and strawberry pavlova for pudding. The food is good here.”

4.Keep moving

“ I don’t like to sit too long. I use a frame now as two sticks were not enough support, but I like to keep going. We do exercises with music and I enjoy skittles.”

5.Get involved

I have the great privilege of being asked every Thursday to help choose the hymns and give the Bible reading in “Quiet Time”. I used to be very shy as a girl, but this has helped me a lot.

After my lovely Japanese spaniel was put to sleep I wanted to help the RSPCA cats and dogs home, so I have been knitting blankets for the cats and dogs and they are sent up to Claverton. I’m now on my thirtieth blanket.”

6.Look forward

“I’ve had joys and disappointments – I have no children, my sister was killed in a car crash in America, I lost my lady I worked for, but I keep on going and don’t give in. It’s important to go forward and not keep looking back.”

7.Be interested

“I try to think of other people and be interested in them – I can lose myself in other people.”