This is the documentary movie, The Georgia Centenarian Study (produced by Dr. Leonard W. Poon and Alan Stecker). You can read more about the Centenarian Study on our website ( You can view clips, categorized by topic, on our youtube channel (

A keystone research project at the Institute of Gerontology ( is the Georgia Centenarian Study (1988 to 2008) of longevity and survival of the oldest old, led by the Institute Director Emeritus, Leonard W. Poon, and funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Aging. An unprecedented number of elders in the coming decades will face the risks of disease, frailty, and dependence. The population at the highest risk is the oldest of the old who are increasing at the fastest rate among those who are 65 years and older.

Centenarians by definition are survivors who have lived to at least 100, which is more than 20 years longer than the average life expectancy. A fundamental challenge is to understand how centenarians live longer and what specific biological, psychological, and sociological characteristics they possess that would allow them to survive longer. Another basic challenge is whether we could generalize the knowledge gained in our volumes of aging research to individuals of average life expectancy, which is in their 70s (e.g., the MacArthur Study), to individuals who live 20 to 30 years longer.

At the extreme longevity of the human species, centenarians represent the ultimate range of independence and dependence, frailty and strength. There is much to be learned from centenarians about survival, disease, frailty, and independence, for all who hope to maintain health and a successful quality of life in older adulthood. The Georgia Centenarian Study is broken into 3 phases: Phase 1 (1988-1992), Phase 2 (1992-1998) and Phase 3 (2001-2009).

Select Articles About This Study

Sydney Morning Herald (2010):
UGA Research Magazine (2009):
Sharp Brains (2009):

100 is the New 65: Living Longer and Better

Our Important Links

Institute of Gerontology at the University of Georgia:
Georgia Geriatric Education Center (Resources and training about best practices in the aging field):
List of aging resources:
UGA Gerontology YouTube Channel:
UGA Gerontology Vimeo Channel:
Elder Cohousing & Other Intentional Communities: