The West

Centenarian who still loves to jive

Meet WA's latest centenarian Rafe Snader, part of a growing number of Australians giving dementia the flick and living busier lives than some people a third their age.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of Australians living past 100 is growing, with more than 4250 centenarians and super-centenarians - people 110 years or older.

Mr Snader admits he is blessed with good longevity genes, with his father Benjamin living until the ripe age of 100 and his "little" brother Hymie turning 99 later this year.

But as his family prepares for his 100th birthday party today *, *even they say his weekly schedule is head-spinning.

While many people worry about the ravages of old age, this father of two, grandfather of three and great-grandfather of six has not slowed down.

He lives independently at his Yokine home but is out most nights, either jive-dancing at the local bowling club, at relatives' homes for dinner or out enjoying Perth's restaurant scene.

He rarely needs a lift because he still drives, boasting a late model Mazda 3 he bought when he was 95 because the salesman promised he would get a good 15 years out of it.

Every day he reads _The West Australian _"from top to bottom" including the obituaries "to make sure he's not in there".

The former accountant completes puzzles to keep his mind alert, has a mobile phone but admits he never uses it and until now has resisted getting a computer. "So you could call me illiterate," he said.

"But my grandson's been on my back for the past three years to get a computer, so I'm finally giving in and getting one."

The West Australian

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