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Aging Gracefully and Achieving a Purposeful Life: A Discussion with Dr. Roger Landry

Hello everyone! My name is Laurie Dancy, the Senior Vice President of Wellness for Silveira Living and Solutions Advisors Group. Today, I’m thrilled to share with you a conversation I had with Dr. Roger Landry. Dr. Landry is the award-winning author of the book “Live Long, Die Short,” the President of Masterpiece Living, a preventive medicine physician, an Air Force flight surgeon, and so much more.

Dr. Landry’s journey into medicine was prompted by a traumatic motor vehicle accident he witnessed during high school, which left him feeling helpless. This incident, along with his parents’ values of compassion and service, influenced his decision to pursue a career in medicine. Originally intending to be a cardiologist, Dr. Landry ended up serving in the Air Force during the Vietnam war and stayed for 23 years, eventually finding himself in the Surgeon General’s Office.

Dr. Landry’s book “Live Long, Die Short” was a result of his exploration of how to make aging a better experience for everyone. It piggybacked on Dr. Kahn’s original book, which encouraged a new perspective on aging, focusing on maximizing the unique potential of older adults.

Dr. Landry emphasizes that society needs to shift its perspective on aging, which currently marginalizes older adults after a certain age. Instead, he encourages us to see older adults as a treasure trove of wisdom, energy, and passion. He notes that it is essential to encourage intergenerational contact and ensure older adults continue to have purpose and meaning in their lives.

When asked about setting goals in later life, Dr. Landry advises taking small steps towards something you love. This approach builds confidence and promotes durable change, as opposed to quick, drastic steps that often lead to short-lived results. Goals later in life should be based on passion and often contribute to the greater good, aiding others or improving the world in some way.

During our conversation, we touched on the current COVID-19 situation and how it affects healthy aging. Dr. Landry acknowledged that while we are physically distancing and staying still at home, it’s critical to continue promoting healthy aging. However, he urges us to remember the small victories, the ‘baby steps’ we take each day towards our goals. Even if these victories seem insignificant, they matter and contribute to our overall success and well-being.

In conclusion, our conversation with Dr. Landry was a profound reminder that aging isn’t about decline but about maximizing our unique potential. It’s about continuously learning new things, setting realistic goals, and appreciating the small victories along the way. In an era where society often undervalues older adults, it’s high time we shifted our perspective and embraced the wisdom and experience this demographic brings.

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