Going Strong at Age 96 - How to Do It By Someone Who Is!

I recently did a interview (podcast) with a long-time family friend, Dorothy Rossi, who is "PowerAging" at age 96. Dorothy lives alone in the same ranch house she has always lived in since she was born in the beautiful Napa Valley three miles away from her house. She, along with her son who lives nearby, run the 24 acre ranch that has chicken (egg business, pear, walnut and prune trees, and vineyards which keeps Dorothy busy from dawn till dusk.

I wanted to interview Dorothy because sometimes the research ideas on health and successful aging that I share get a little "dry!" But just reviewing Dorothy's typical day, and hearing her so clearly say it, is so instructive on how to really live many of the principles I share from the research that I do.

So below is a summary of a typical day. A review of some of "living principles" that she believes in and links to my YouTube overview of her interview, and her actual interview that I did with her recently.

Listening to Dorothy, then realizing she is 96, to me is inspiring and incredibly instructive. It puts any "Anti-Aging" research into perspective. I also included links to two of my favorite short YouTubes (video 1, 2 ) on the Okinawan Centenarians that I show at almost every talk I give. Again, the centenarians (100 year-olds) can say/show in 3 minutes, more about how to live long, healthy functional lives until the day we die than volumes of medical journals...Enjoy!

Real Life "Longevity Tips" – Being Independent, Healthy and Going Strong at Age 96 (29:51)
Kirk’s YouTube overview of his interview with Dorothy Rossi (6:59)


Dorothy works close to 6 hours per day of vigorous physical labor on the ranch.

Dorothy recently "aced" her written drivers license test at the age of 96 and she drives her 1990 Mercedes with confidence to places as far away as an hour and a half to shop!

She feels she does what she wants to do and has no physical limitations. Her health is good. She has hypertension (takes one medication), some reduction in vision, knee arthritis and she she doesn't remember names very well at times but these ailments don't stop her from doing much of anything.

Many of her friends have passed so all her friends now are younger than she is. Visitors come by 2-3 times per week for maybe an hour each to visit.

She goes to mass the majority of Sundays and she pray. She has incredible gratitude for all she has.

She says she just mentally thinks through her stresses. She is sad that her son who helps her on the ranch has Parkinson's disease.

Dorothy's Thoughts for a Happy, Long Life

  1. Don't take medication (she doesn't believe in vitamins either).
  2. Be happy in your living environment (she loves where she lives and has her family close, though they don't live with her).
  3. Lots of physical exercise (not in a gym if you can help it, but outside working).

Dorothy's Daily Schedule:
5:00 a.m. - She awakens before the alarm clock and then does chores, including taking care of her cats and her chickens. She has been doing the egg business 30 plus years. She has a cup of coffee and reads the paper for 30-40 minutes.

8:00 a.m. - She has plain oatmeal, with "8 raisins" and some whole milk.

8:30 am - 12:00 pm Does physical work on the ranch.

12:00 p.m. - Lunch is her biggest meal. Always lots of fresh vegetables (steamed). Likes swiss chard and spinach. Every other she has her meats (chicken, fish, Italian sausage, etc.). The alternating days she has a pasta, polenta, dumpings or gnocchi. She has 4 oz of homemade red wine each day.

1-4:30 p.m. -  She works around the range. Physical work.

5:00 p.m. - Watches the news and has a lighter dinner with salad, vegetable cream soup. Uses water from steaming vegetables for soups. Has tuna fish or egg salad sandwiches. For dessert peanut butter and apple, cottage cheese with fruit.

She reads after dinner.

9:00 p.m. - She is in bed and family and friends know not to call.

Listen and learn from someone who is living what we need to do more of in this country (and the world), to live independently and functionally until the end of our lives, not only to reduce suffering and improve quality of life, but save our health care systems and economies that are being overburden by an unhealthy, over-medicated, health-care consuming, aging population.

Simple lessons learned by example and common sense are many times more valuable than all the "Ivory Tower" research in the world!

Watch these two "Awesome" YouTubes on the Okinawan Centenarians!

Secrets of a Long Life in Okinawa (3:00)
Western Diet: Killer in Okinawa (3:44)

Be and Stay Well,


You may call Kirk Hamilton PA-C Monday thru Friday 8-9 a.m. PST at 916-489-4400 for brief medical questions at Health Associates Medical Group. (KwikerMedical.com) To listen to more of Kirk's podcasts go to StayingHealthyToday.com and you can sign up for Kirk's Free Health Letter HERE.