Dr. Robert Palmer, a nationally respected geriatrician, nearly filled the Boca Grande Community Center Auditorium to capacity for his recent lecture on staying sharp as you age.
Palmer urged participants to plan for their health needs the same way they plan financially for retirement.
"For most of us aging well means being able to maintain our physical health and independence so that we can enjoy a high quality of life no matter how old we may grow," Palmer said. "While genes help to determine how long we live, they don't control how well we live. We do."
Dr. Robert M. Palmer
The lecture was sponsored by Northern Trust and Healthnetwork Foundation provided the speaker and a copy of his book, "Age Well, A Cleveland Clinic Guide" to each household represented, according to Mary Anne Hastings, Boca Grande Clinic Foundation director.
"The event drew more 190 people with a reception afterward in The Crowninshield House," Hastings said.
Palmer reviewed the science of "aging well" and discussed how to remain healthy, mobile and mentally sharp through exercise and proper diet.
Palmer is clinical director, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology,
and vice chairman for quality improvement and patient safety in the Department of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.
He attended medical school at the University of Michigan and completed residency training in internal medicine at Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. He obtained a master's degree in public health at the University of California, Los Angeles and later completed a fellowship there in geriatric medicine.
Palmer gained international attention for his research, which focuses on improving the functional
outcomes of hospitalization through geriatric assessment and interdisciplinary care. Palmer was
principal investigator of a grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation that established the
effectiveness of a medical unit for acute care of elders.
He has written geriatric textbooks, book chapters and scientific reviews on aging and is an associate editor of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.