Even in her second century Orma Dunn likes to cook, but she’s the first to admit it takes her a little longer than it did a few decades ago. This September marks her 101st birthday and she’s determined to approach this milestone as just another day. “I never stop to think how old I am really”, she says.
Living into old age seems to be a family trait, as her mother lived to be almost 102 and her mom’s sister was 105.
Orma has lived alone for 30 years so she has developed a number of routines to keep herself busy and her Toronto apartment how she likes it. This includes a weekly shopping trip.
For this, she needs the assistance of a family member; because she relies on a walker she needs someone to push her trolley. “I always like to take my time and look at all the foods, I’ve always been that way,” she explains.
The goal is to cook something substantial that will last her a few days. She is quick to point out that she likes to stay organized, “Always do you your dishes right away, and don’t let them pile up.”
But even a roast can’t be stretched to a whole week and it is on those days she has started to rely on Heart to Home Meals.
The frozen meals are specifically-designed for seniors and there are no contracts, no minimum purchase orders and usually there is free delivery.
Orma is a recent convert to the benefits of Heart to Home Meals and likes the convenience of having a meal always available in her freezer.
Like all seniors, Orma needs to make sure her diet contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals as well as getting enough calories to remain active.
While it is a remarkable achievement to become a centenarian, Canada is a greying nation. According to Statistics Canada there could be 40,000 people over the age of 100 by 2051. We already have more people aged 65 and over than those aged 15 and younger – this is the first time this has happened in the history of Canada.
Orma’s diet remains focussed on meat and vegetables though she is quick to point out she is not keen on either peas or carrots. And while she will sometimes order groceries over the phone she is not a big fan because, “I like to select my own vegetables.”
The benefits of Heart to Home Meals include having food that is suited to the tastes and nutritional needs of seniors. One of the myths that dietitians are keen to dispel is that a balanced diet for a senior can be achieved by reducing the size of the portions. In fact, seniors require a much more nutrient-rich diet.
“I think people eat terrible today,” says Orma. She says a good diet can make a difference to your lifestyle.
Her daily routine comes to an end just before she goes off to bed with a phone call from her son, “My family is so important to me”.
While nothing special is planned for her birthday she will spend the day with her family, “if I have something to eat, I may even have a glass of wine.”
When you reach 101 years-of-age it is worth a little change to your routine.