As the population ages in the United States and around the world, social isolation of older adults, especially older adults who live alone, is a crucial challenge that requires attention. Community and social support programs are essential means to address this challenge. However, technology-based solutions should be considered to supplement or augment these methods to help ensure that older adults remain connected to their friends, family, and community.
The sizeable portion of older adults living alone is alarming given the harmful effects of social isolation – a reduction in social connectedness as measured by satisfaction derived from social ties – can have on the health of older people. Social isolation is associated with negative health effects including chronic health conditions, a weakened immune system, and depression and anxiety. Having services and supports in place to meet the needs of older adults living alone and experiencing the harmful effects of social isolation is vital.
Though there are many words for it such as conning or swindling, scamming has one clear definition: financial exploitation in a deceptive manner. Have you ever received a phone call or an email offering a free trip to some luxurious paradise, warning about your unpaid taxes, or threatening legal action if you fail to pay a fee to help your friend? With email, automated robocallers, and inexpensive international calling services, at some point or another most people will have received one or more fraudulent messages. In general, older adults are more likely to be targeted. Though new types of cons are always occurring and be used against anyone, the Department of Justice has identified some that are more likely to be directed at older adults.
Many of us have had the experience of losing interest in some of the activities that used to excite us. This is to be expected as our lives change and we experience new things. However, some people have a more general decrease in their ability to experience pleasure in activities they used to find enjoyable. Psychologists refer to this as anhedonia. And here’s what you should know.
When it comes to disasters, older Americans are the age group most likely to experience devastating outcomes due to a variety of risk factors. #OAM18
By Ryan C. Thompson & Rowena Gomez, PhD (Palo Alto University) Improving physical health behaviors, such as eating healthy and exercise, is not the only way to protect older adults from stroke. In fact, psychological factors have been shown to play a role in increasing as well as reducing the risk of stroke. For example, […]
Older adults are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. If you are interested in going into this exciting field, here are five simple steps to jumpstart your career in aging.
By Erin Cochrane, Sam Gilchrist, and Anna Linden (Department of Psychology, Saint Olaf College, Northfield, MN) Aging gracefully isn’t always a sweet process. The World Health Organization warns that malnutrition is a looming issue for our aging population1, but sensory losses can make food less appealing and increase risk for undereating and weight loss2. […]
Older adults account for an increasing proportion of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, in the United States. Notwithstanding, sex after sixty continues to remain shrouded in silence and stigma. In this post, doctoral student Christina Pierpaoli Parker discusses the reasons for and consequences of the scantiness of late life sexual health conversations, concluding with recommendations for increasing their visibility.
In the past year, high school psychology students embarked upon an essay to describe an “Aging World,” the theme of this year’s Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) annual essay competition for high school psychology students. Ultimately, four students from high schools around the world were named winners, but the broader impact was that a bevy of young people learned about how to age well and how to support this goal for our current aging population.