To live a hundred: the secrets of longevity 101-year-old Russian immigrant from new York

19 March 2020 Lydia gerenstein of new York will celebrate 101 years. This amazing woman knows firsthand: life after centenary not only exists, but can be full and interesting. About their joys, worries, and secrets of longevity Lydia R. said ForumDaily.

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Lydia Lakeman. Photo: Yuliya Levit and Marina Abelman for Speak Memory Project

Lydia leads an active social life for 8 years now, she is attending a day health center for older people at the King David Center’s staff and visitors call it the “garden”. Here Lydia R. everybody knows and loves. Thanks to her kindness, activity, willingness to provide help and support she became President of the local club for centenarians, people over 90 years old.

No less rich and vibrant leisure Lydia: she loves to entertain, the most desirable of which — a grandson and three great-grandchildren, admires classical music, her interesting stories about people and events. With her daughter Lydia R. attends concerts in Carnegie Hall, each time demonstrating your exquisite taste and sense of style in choosing outfits. Lydia loves the beauty in everything: in nature, in clothing, in poetry, in music. But the main thing — she is interested in life and interesting to live. And life meets Lydia in return. This, according to women, is the main secret of overcoming a century milestone.

Lydia R. — the man of hard destiny, survived many losses. But despite all the hardships, she radiates positivity and is able to charge with energy and lust for life all around her.

Lydia was born March 19, 1919 in the town of Yelisavetgrad (Kirovohrad former, and now Kropiwnicki, located in the Central part of Ukraine) to the family of Gerenstein. Lydia’s mother was a pediatrician, and my father — a successful lawyer. While parents worked, the girl was raised by a nanny, who had aristocratic origins and is a very loving music and literature. It was she who instilled in Lydia a love of beauty in all its manifestations.

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Photo from the private archive of Lidia Gerenstein

Lydia wanted to be a lawyer, but at the insistence of his father after school I entered the medical Institute in Odessa. Although it was not the kind of profession in which she could see in the future, Lydia loved her and did not regret the choice.

In the spring of 1941 Lydia met her future husband, Yefim Lachmann, which is part of a group of students go on externship. On 22 June 1941 the war began, parents of Lydia were evacuated to Kazan, and the girl herself, along with friends decided to go to Stalingrad to get diplomas at the local medical Institute. After that, they were able to find a job in the city. In the summer of 1942 the front was approaching Stalingrad: Lydia’s husband went to the front, and she had to evacuate — a young woman was pregnant.

The path to the evacuation to Kazan she still remembers with horror: the old boat tied to it oil barge bombed. Then she thought, “Well, okay, if you get into the ship, I’m a good swimmer, maybe you will be saved, and if the barge with oil, all the end”.

But all ended well: Lydia reached Kazan, where took a job as a doctor in a munitions factory, had a daughter Natasha. After the war, the part where the husband leads Yefim was a surgeon, relocated from Germany to Gorokhovetsky camp. Lydia and Natasha went there. After my husband and special courses in Moscow, the family moved to Tula, where he was born the son of Gleb.

In Tula Lydia R. for many years he worked as a doctor in the therapeutic Department of the City hospital named after Semashko and the head of the admission Department. To this day she remembers many of his patients and their history, and they probably remember her as the mind and heart she put into their work. After Lydia taught therapy to med school, and then retired.

In the nineties, life became harder. Brother Lydia and her family decided to move to the USA where soon sent a challenge for family Lydia. After a long red tape with the paperwork in the family is in trouble: after an unsuccessful operation in December 1993 he died Yefim. Permission for emigration came just a month after his death. This terrible ordeal is not over: in a car accident killed her beloved son Gleb, he is survived by his wife and two children.

Lydia R. gathered his courage and decided to emigrate with his family in the United States. On may 9, 1994 at the airport in new York they were met by the brother of Lydia, and in 1995, arrived in the United States and daughter-in-law with their grandchildren: all were in Assembly. In a new country Lydia quickly got friends with all my heart loved life in new York — and this feeling with her so far.

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Lydia R. daughter Natasha and granddaughter Victoria. Photo from the private archive of Lidia Gerenstein.

Shortly before his 101 birthday Lydia R. answered a few questions for ForumDaily.

For starters, tell us a little about your life. How to pass your day, than you do having fun? Let everyone who dreams of longevity, learn that life after 100 years really is, and it is interesting.

I’m not as active as it was 2-3 years ago. Nevertheless, we are still going family, my daughter has season tickets to Carnegie Hall for classical music concerts (the last time I listened to fall Matsuev, and the next concert of the Japanese pianist should be in April). Watch your favorite TV shows, for example, “Boring classics”, etc. Continue to walk for 17 years 3 times a week in your “kindergarten”. And I’m not tired. You won’t believe, but sometimes I dance there (help me, of course), playing dominoes, listening to music, singing, talking, walking (trying to walk more, but began to get tired quickly), are treated. In General, I try to enjoy life.

You have had a tough life: war, loss of her husband, emigration in adulthood. What helped you to cope with all the difficulties and keep a positive attitude?

I actually used to complications. Life is not a simple thing and it should be taken for what it is. It is necessary to find forces for overcoming problems, not sit back, act not to lose my sense of humor and see the good that life gives me: family, remaining friends, music…

What do you think the secret of his longevity? Perhaps you have a recipe or advice to those who would like to live to be 100 years old.

Activity, creativity, sense of humor and love of life. Try not to lose your interest in the new and move move as I can. The movement is life!

What do you if the opposite is not advised to do? With the height of past years, you know better, what we spend is wasted energy that’s not worth it to spend time on it?

Not to whine, not to complain. I don’t like to complain and do not like to communicate with people who only talk about their illnesses. Not angry, not offended in vain, do not waste your precious time on the gossip and idle discussion people. And, very importantly, to be positive.

Would you like to set the record of longevity? You have a dream, which has not yet managed to implement?

I never thought of it.

Share with us the experience of immigration. You moved to the US in adulthood? How did you adapt, how to solve the language issue, etc.?

Without depression. We were prepared for problems and take them for granted. And they really helped with advice and attention to our family and friends.

ForumDaily congratulates Lydia of Gerenstein happy birthday and wishes strong health and long years!


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