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.

Kickstart a Lifelong Healthy Habit this Summer! 4 Reasons Gardening Benefits Your Health as You Age

Gardening is a popular summer activity for a reason! Research shows that it can have positive effects on our physical, mental, and social well-being as we age. Gardening can range from caring for a single plant to mowing the lawn or planting an entire vegetable garden. Don’t be intimidated. Given the versatility of gardening options, anyone can do it. It’s not too late to dig into gardening this summer!

Are You Talking to Parents About Keeping Guns Away from Children? 5 Reasons You Absolutely Should

Did you know that 1 in 3 homes with kids has a gun, many unlocked and loaded? June 21 is ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Day – a national observance that reminds health professionals, parents, and caregivers about the importance of asking if there are unlocked guns in the homes where children live and play. Although the conversation may be awkward, having it could potentially save a child’s life. Here are five reasons why psychologists should talk to their patients about gun safety.