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.
How do we counter the negative impact of ageist stereotypes pervasive in Western society? It’s more complicated than it appears. Even embracing positive age-related stereotypes can have unintended consequences. Here’s an overview of what research suggests might really work.
On February 13, 2015 the Elder Justice Reauthorization Act (H.R. 988) was introduced in the House of Representatives. The bill addresses the growing problem of elder financial abuse and emphasizes the role the federal government should take in coordinating and leading state support efforts. It provides a legal framework for necessary cooperation between federal and state agencies that handle health, legal and social services.
Facilitating physician and patient engagement in a shared, or collaborative, decision-making process is gaining more attention within healthcare. Using shared decision-making strategies gives physicians more opportunity to provide patients with the necessary medical information to make informed choices.
A rather decent-sized bombshell has rocked the world of lifespan developmental theory and research. Specifically, it is a rather elegant and well-designed study on the social behavior of Barbary macaques in captivity, one that has, at least a little bit, changed the field of lifespan development theory from now on.
Have you heard of National Senior Citizens Day? If not, you aren’t alone. This holiday is not often listed on most, if any, calendars. There are usually no headlines or special sales or promotions that accompany this holiday. Why is National Senior Citizens Day virtually forgotten? Probably for the same reasons that led to its establishment in 1988 by President Reagan. Older adulthood is not universally celebrated and valued.
Exercise and competitive sports can feel like they are worlds apart, and if you’ve never considered yourself an athlete, it may feel like it’s too late to change that part of your self-concept. If you consider the inspirational work of master athletes, you realize that it’s never too late to become an athlete – and that finding your sport can bring a variety of physical and psychological benefits, including an opportunity for fun!
Reducing health disparities among older adults overall is a massive undertaking and managed healthcare significantly reduces time spent with patients. However, there are still small steps that providers and older adults themselves can take. Providers and older adults can talk to each other about barriers to receiving care, barriers to achieving healthier lifestyles, and their own values and beliefs.
As we age, it’s natural to worry about possible declines in our mental and brain health. Research shows that mindfulness can improve brain functioning, resulting in thinking and feeling better as we get older.
People over the age of 85 have more life satisfaction and less negative affect (in other words, less stress, anxiety, and depression) than people in midlife – as long as physical health and functioning are considered.