Care home centenarians enjoy festive birthdays and advise fresh air and laughter

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Two care home residents who ended 2022 by celebrating their centenarian birthdays together have revealed their secrets for a long life, crediting laughter as well as “plenty of fresh air”.

Audrey White and Phyllis Long, who turned 102 and 106 respectively towards the end of December, were treated to a surprise birthday party at Care UK’s Amherst House, in Horley, Surrey, on December 29.

The pair, whose combined ages total 208, agreed the secret to a long life is “lots of laughter” with Ms Long saying how important she believes it is to get outside.

“Get plenty of fresh air and go on long walks – regardless of how old you get,” she said.

Nature and the great outdoors are so beneficial.”

The Surrey care home organised a joint birthday surprise party for the duo – with friends, balloons, banners and a huge chocolate cake.

Ms Long was born on December 27 1916 – two years before the end of the First World War – in Wallington, Sutton.

During the Second World War, she worked at Croydon Airport on the Wellington Bombers, before volunteering at St Heliers Hospital.

A keen gardener and chef all her life, Ms Long would travel around the world keen to experience new cuisines – she enjoyed cooking for her late husband, Victor, and her son Roger.

Now Ms Long spends time listening to old songs and audiobooks with her grandchildren, Russel and Emma, as well as her great granddaughter Evie.

Ms White was born on December 29 1920 in Windsor – she devoted her life to raising her two children, Gordon and Belinda, and is a proud grandmother and great grandmother.

Both women are regularly visited by their families at Amherst House.

Cristina Cristea, general manager at Amherst House, said: “We love any excuse for a party – so Audrey and Phyllis’ birthdays certainly called for double the celebrations and double the fun.

“It was fantastic to help celebrate these incredible milestone for Audrey and Phyllis with their family and friends here at Amherst House with a surprise afternoon party, and to raise a glass to their 208 years.

“We could all learn a lot from Audrey and Phyllis’ advice for living a long life – cheers ladies.”