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Here's why one expert says Americans are living longer, healthier lives

Why one doctor says Americans are living longer, healthier lives
Why one doctor says Americans are living longer, healthier lives 02:06

SACRAMENTO — May is Older Americans Month and this year, a 90-year-old man is showing just how high seniors can soar.

The Blue Origin rocket launch this weekend is another giant leap for senior citizens. Ed Dwight was aboard the capsule for its 10-minute suborbital flight and now becomes the oldest person ever to go into space.

Senior residents at The Village at Heritage Park say it's the latest example of older Americans living active lifestyles.

"There is nothing that should stop anybody at any age from doing anything," Nick Infantino said.

Many at The Village regularly exercise and participate in group activities to stay in shape mentally and physically

"We want to live longer, but we want to live healthier. Sharp mind, sharp body," Infantino said.

Richard Miralles, 99, flew during World War II on bombers over Europe and said he'd love to go a little higher into space.

"Well, I'd do it," he said. "Wouldn't bother me."

Dr. Vanessa Walker, the chief medical officer of Sutter Roseville, said the number of people staying active after 80 continues to grow with the help of cutting-edge health care.

"Knee replacements, hip replacements, they're getting pacemakers, they're getting access to a variety of technology that is just going to allow them to live longer," Walker said.

Having role models like Dwight shows dreams don't stop just because you get old.

"If you think young and keep yourself active, there's no stopping you," The Village resident Jean Curcuru said.

"I always wanted to go into outer space," Infantino said. "I just haven't had a chance, but you never know. When I turn 90, I might go up there."

Dwight is a retired Air Force captain who trained 60 years ago to become the first Black astronaut, but he was never selected by NASA.

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