Thursday, November 5, 2009

Keep on at it!

Britain's Ivy Bean celebrated her 104th birthday in September. Possibly the oldest person on a social networking site, she currently has over 50,000 followers! Ivy lives in a "care home" in the northern English city of Bradford, near Leeds, and updates her followers about the ups and downs of her life, from getting her hair done with her good friend Mabel, to eating fish and chips and watching her favorite game show, "Deal or No Deal," on TV.

Last month, she tweeted her sadness that her friend Norma had passed away overnight.

Before getting onto Twitter, Ivy was already active on Facebook,
where she maxed out her 5,000-friend limit in no time!
You go Girl!
But she prefers Twitter because it's easier than Facebook, it only requires updating. She has linked both accounts so that her tweets automatically show up on Facebook. Ivy knows people must think it's amazing that she's so active on online, but she thinks it's a good way of keeping in touch with people. And for those who find it hard to jump on the Twitter bandwagon, she offers this advice:
"Keep on at it."

"Old" is not the first word that comes to mind with when you think of this friendly lady with a warm and infectious smile! A resident of Hillside Manor, she recently won a gold medal at the residential home's Over-75 Olympics in the Frisbee-throwing category. And she enjoys bowling on the home's Nintendo Wii. No surprise for a lady who was a gymnast when she was younger.

What do her friends think of her online popularity? "I think they might be jealous," she said with a joking laugh. Others at Hillside Manor also have Twitter accounts, but not her friend Mabel Davis, 87. "Just put me on yours, Ivy," she says.

Already, Ivy's Centenarian Tweeting and Facebooking have attracted International attention, and news outlets from around the world have interviewed her. Her daughter, Sandra Logan, 61, said she arrived for a visit one day only to find her mom busy with a call.
"I'm on the phone with Israel,"
Ivy called out to her daughter!

Part of the reason Ivy is so active online is because the care home makes activities for its residents a priority. One resident wanted to learn more about photography, so he now takes a course once a week at a local college. The home also helped another resident get a passport so he could visit his son in Spain. Hillside Manor also recently hosted a quiz with students from the local college. The subject was history. The Hillside Manor residents won. "We're trying to do something different than knitting or crochet," explained Pat Wright, the home's manager.

Ivy came from a large family with four brothers and three sisters, all are gone now. She was nearly 40 when she got married during the "Great War" to Harold Gibson Bean. He was a cook in the army, and she worked in a mill. After the war, the couple got a job "in service" to a wealthy family. Ivy Bean was a housekeeper and her husband was the cook and butler to Lord and Lady Guinness in Northamptonshire, England. Daughter Sandra, their only child, was born two years later, in 1947. The couple retired together but Harold Bean died a few years later, when he was in his 70s. Ivy now has three great-grandchildren with two more on the way, they all call their famous great-grandmother "Little Nan."

Wright says Bean is "very open" to new suggestions and new ideas and is always willing to have a go at something. "She must have been like that all her life," Wright says. "It's not a new thing. I think if you're one of those people that'll try anything through your life,
it doesn't stop when you get old."

As she types an update on her Twitter page, Ivy certainly seems to be displaying an open mind. Would she agree? "I don't know if I have or not," she says. "But there's something there. There must be!"


  1. OMG, she is wonderful! And hooray to the nursing home for helping to make their lives so much more rewarding.

  2. I hope that I'm in good mental shape when I get older. What an amazing woman!

  3. That is so cool...I want to be her when I grow up! Thanks for sharing that bit of "Good news!" Very sweet!
    Come say hi :D

  4. Isn't she wonderful?! We could all take lessons from her, I think.

    BTW, I'm going to try your dog treat recipe, too. I have 2 babies that I need to spoil.

  5. What a wonderful post and what an amazing woman! I so glad you found this to share with us today.

  6. A very neat story! More retirement homes should offer programs like was mentioned here - helping the residents to 'grow' - not older, but BETTER! Some places only offer coffee groups, mindless exercise, and chit chat - Photography Classes, Computer Classes, and learning NEW SKILLS sure beats sitting there eating snacks and watching a group leader do everything. People need to have their mind stretched and strengthened, no matter what their age might be.

  7. Come on over to my blog - I have an award I am sharing with you!!! Your blog is so COOL!

  8. Look at her sweet smile! Thanks for posting about Mrs Ivy. I'd never heard about her before.

    Be blessed!

  9. I'm only half her age and worried about losing it. What a great story.

  10. I must tell everyone, Mrs. Bean sent me a message on Facebook yesterday that she read the blog about her and enjoyed it so very much! What a thrill to write about a LIVING legend! Click on the links at the bottom of the post to add her to your Facebook and Twitter!
    joy c. at grannymountain

  11. My gosh, she is amazing lady! So proud of her. hip hip horey!


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