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Want to be happy? Think like an old person

As people's minds and bodies decline, instead of feeling worse about their lives, they feel better; gerontologists call this the paradox of old age

Ping Wong, 92, receiving a family visit at a nursing home in Voorhees, New Jersey.

Wong enjoys the camaraderie she shares playing mahjong with her friends. She said: "I try not to think about bad things. It's not good for old people to complain."

Helen Moses, 93, with her partner of eight years Howie Zeimer, at Glee Club in the Hebrew Home in Riverdale, New York.

Jonas Mekas, 95, at a book presentation and poetry reading session in New York last month. Mekas will have to face the question of how to make ends meet in the coming years. He could no longer afford the rent on his Brooklyn loft, he said. "I have to move to a cheaper place," probably within a year.

JONAS Mekas turned 95 this year and won a lifetime achievement award in Frankfurt, Germany. Ping Wong, 92, learned new rules for playing mahjong. Helen Moses, who turned 93, mostly gave up talk of marrying Howie Zeimer, her steady companion of the last eight years. Ruth Willig, 94, broke a bone...

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