Navigating the trails of life and aging – what older people know that we don’t.
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Navigating the trails of Life and Aging - what older people know that we don't.

America is on the verge of losing yet another natural resource. In about ten years, three-quarters of American oldest generation will be gone. They will take with them lessons learned about living through illness, failure, poverty, loss and danger…and more basic things like lessons learned about work, love, parenting and growing old.

Dr. Karl A. Pillemer, a professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University, created the Life Lessons Project in 2004, as a way of collecting practical advice from America’s elders. He knew that for the first time in history we humans have access to the accumulated wisdom of vast numbers of older people.

Pillemer, spent five years interviewing hundreds of elderly Americans, and found himself startled by their candor, their insights, and yes, their wisdom. He has summarized their thoughts in a book titled, 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans.

Their advice ranged from:

  • How to be happy on a day-to-day basis
  • The secrets to a successful marriage
  • Tips on raising children
  • Ways to have a fulfilling career
  • Strategies for dealing with illness and loss
  • The importance of long-term care
  • How to grow old fearlessly and well

His book has been getting a lot of buzz since released…it has hit a nerve! It’s been written and talked about on: CNN, PBS, Huffington Post, New York Times, The Daily Beast, Tampa Bay Times, Psychology Today, Blog Talk Radio and more.

"My grandmother would strongly agree with much of the collected wisdom, particularly the adage that happiness is a choice and that a practice of gratitude is intrinsic to being happy. I can't wait to read the book!" -Chelsea Clinton

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Join us for a special evening as Dr. Pillemer shares what older people know about life that the rest of us don’t. He will discuss the advice for living from people aged 70 and beyond, and it’s relevance for people of all ages. A few of the elders interviewed will be in attendance. Get a sneak peak of what Dr. Pillemer will be speaking about from a recent PBS News Hour Interview!

Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D. is a professor of Human Development at Cornell University and Professor of Gerontology at the Weill Cornell Medical College. An internationally renowned gerontologist, his research examines how people develop and change throughout their lives. He has authored five books and over 100 scientific publications, and speaks throughout the world on aging-related issues.

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