Last night in New York City, the Martha Stewart Center for Living at the Mount Sinai Medical Center celebrated the success of Martha Stewart’s New York Times bestseller Living the Good Long Life: A Practical Guide for Caring for Yourself and Others and honored acclaimed actress Marlo Thomas with this year’s Living Award. Bestowed annually to someone over the age of 65 who exemplifies healthy living, the prize was presented at the Starrett-Lehigh building where the Martha Stewart Center for Living office was transformed into an elegant venue for the event.
The center seeks to spread awareness of the challenges posed to society by our ever-lengthening lifespans. “We’re facing a serious problem in the United States,” Martha Stewart told DuJour before the gala. “The population is aging, the rate of birth is declining, there will soon be more people over 65 than under, and there are very few doctors available to take care of the older population. Right now, there’s one geriatrician for approximately 8,500-9,000 patients over 65. That’s not a very good ratio—it’s frightening.”
The event featured a panel discussion on longevity and living well while aging with Dr. Nancy Snyderman, physician and chief medical editor for NBC News; Dr. Albert Siu, professor and chair of geriatrics and pallative medicine at Mount Sinai; James Murphy, founder of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of New York; and Michael Moss, author of Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. After the panel, Murphy—who is also Martha Stewart’s personal yoga instructor—demonstrated some basic poses and showed how to modify them to accommodate the limitations of age.
Fortunately, the rest of the world is finally starting to grasp the implications of our longevity, Stewart mentioned to us at the event. Her favorite Prudential billboard ad reads “The first person to live to 150 has already been born”; last month, National Geographic‘s cover featured photos of cherubic children next to the caption “This baby will live to be 120.”
Stewart’s latest book contains her advice for thriving at every age and for staying healthy through “a very serious evolution,” as she puts it. “As soon as you figure out that you want to live long,” she concluded, “you have to develop a program for yourself so you will live longer, better.”