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Montana centenarians honored at Governor's Conference on Aging

Montana is home to 140 people who are over 100 years old
Posted at 1:04 PM, Sep 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-25 15:04:55-04

Centenarians, or people who are 100 years old or more, were honored for their longevity as part of the 51st annual Governor's Conference on Aging at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center Tuesday evening.

Helen Reidelbach, a 102-year-old Laurel native, attended the celebration. She's got a secret to her longevity.

"Just hard work and do your own cooking," Reidelbach said. "Don't eat that stuff that's already made at the stores."

Helen Reidelbach<div class="Figure-credit" itemprop="author">Mitch Lagge
Helen Reidelbach, 102-year-old Laurel native.

Reidelbach said you won't find any Marie Callender or Betty Crocker boxes in her pantry.

Crocheting keeps Reidelbach busy in her free time, and she has a long lineage: seven grand kids, 14 great-grandkids and 10 great-great-grandkids.

Reidelbach remembered how she are her husband ran a herd of sheep in the Beartooth Mountains for three summers. They ran the sheep through from Belfry through Clark, Wyo., to bring the sheep up to Lost Lake.

The conference on aging brings together people who care for Montana's elderly. It is also a place for people to see the state-provided senior care programs that can be accessed.

"Montana is a graying state." said Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Director Sheila Hogan.

Hogan said that by 2020, 20 percent of Montanans will be over 65.

To explore some senior-care programs offered by the state, click here.