The idea of getting old scares most of us. We don't want to think about getting wrinkles, becoming bedridden or succumbing to Alzheimer's disease. Still, we must come to terms with the fact that growing old is a reality for all of us lucky enough to live long lives.

German photographer Karsten Thormaehlen, 48, has taken up the theme of aging, notably with photographs of centenarians in Germany, Italy and Japan.

After holding exhibitions on centenarians throughout Europe, he published the book "Happy at Hundred" in 2011.