Dr. Roger Landry, a preventive medicine physician, was the featured speaker on the topic of lifestyle choice and longevity before a audience of health care professionals, gerontologists and aging advocates on September 25, in Reno.
Sponsored by the University of Nevada, Reno, Sanford Center for Aging, Dr. Landry is the author of “Live Long, Die Short: A Guide to Authentic Health and Successful Aging,” written to encourage boomers to rethink the aging process. Based on a landmark ten-year study by the MacArthur Foundation, researchers found that lifestyle and everyday choices lead to “70 percent physical aging, and about 50 percent of mental aging.”
The premise of Dr. Landry’s book is that lifestyle choices can lead to long life followed by a period of short death, in other words, compressing the decline period to the very end of an active, healthy lifespan. Based on the concepts of the MacArthur study, Dr. Landry also developed a program called Masterpiece Living, a guide to reshape thoughts of getting old, and provide tools to guide successful aging. ‘Dr. Landry encourages readers to take a “Lifestyle Inventory” to assess where their health stands now, and then guides them through “Ten Tips” to achieve healthy aging, each tip backed by research, real life stories, and insights.’
The idea is to retain a high level of functioning in the eighth, ninth and tenth decade of life, and compress the morbidity period.
Dr. Landry’s book is also a call to action for aging adults to come together and continue to contribute to their communities, families, and way of life, recognizing that age is not a problem for society, but an empowering experience for those who are aging.
Taking almost a year to complete, Dr. Landry says writing Live Long, Die Short was a discovery for him. “The process and the research necessary was a learning experience. We need to define being well in much broader terms than what we currently do.”
‘As a species we have lived most of our time in small groups and villages. Characteristics of that environment, what we ate and our diet, were nurturing. Everyone had a role, there was a greater purpose, a social compact that if you help me I’ll help you; these are basic human needs that went beyond being well and being healthy. The notion that we are a part of a community that nurtures is critically important to our health.’
Dr. Landry says Americans need to learn how to have less stress in modern times. “As Americans we take on too much, we bite off too much. That is a program set to fail.” He says change has to come in small steps.
The book Live Long, Die Short is about taking a personal assessment of your life, to actively participate in the process by introducing the ten steps program, and become an advocate to challenge society and others to focus on what they truly need to age well.
To learn more about Live Long, Die Short (LLDS) visit Dr. Landry’s work online at livelongdieshort.com. While your there look for The Gathering Place, where like-minded advocates of successful aging can share their experiences, spend time, and learn more.
Live Long, Die Short: A Guide to Authentic Health and Successful Aging, by Dr. Roger Landry, can be purchased in paperback for $13.86.