3 Simple Psychological Strategies You Can Use to Help Prevent Against Stroke

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, […]

What is the Recipe for Success? 5 Ways Cooking Can Keep You Young

  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. […]

Let’s Talk About Sex — After 60

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.

What Does Our Past Tell Us About Our Future? The Essential Role of Psychologists in Fighting HIV

Since the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, psychologists have been essential in the response to HIV. They offered mental health support for people living with, or at risk for, HIV—as well as for their families and communities, and those who provide HIV medical care and social services. Psychologists developed programs to educate people about HIV and motivate behavior change to reduce risk.

Is Poking Fun at Birthdays a Harmless Way to Celebrate Them?

Have you ever noticed that the tone of birthday cards for children is upbeat with messages like, “way to go, you’re another year older”? Whereas that is rarely the theme in cards for adults older than 21, at least in the United States. Birthday cards and gifts that poke fun of older adulthood are communicating negative ageist stereotypes found in society…

A Fate Worse than Death? Being Transgender in Long-term Care

“I would kill myself.” This is what a 70 year-old transgender woman told me recently when I asked what she would do if she needed long-term care. While this sounds dramatic, it is a common sentiment among older transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) adults (Witten, 2014). Many TGNC older adults do not have family caregivers available to meet their needs for assistance in later life, having been rejected and ostracized by their families of origin according to a study by Grant and colleagues (2011), and long-term care services may be their only option.

Accepting Help is Hard: Here’s Why There’s No Shame in Getting a Personal Care Assistant

Our society places the highest value on independence; doing things by ourselves for ourselves. Because of this, we rarely think about what it would be like to need someone else’s assistance with even the most basic activities: getting dressed, brushing teeth, eating, driving, or filling out paperwork. Thus, when individuals are faced with changes in their physical abilities, the adjustment to using personal care assistance can be challenging.