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.
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
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. […]
We spend a lot of time talking about quality of life, but, increasingly, people around the world are talking about quality of death. Facing the end of life is hard for everyone involved, and many worry about the pain and loss of dignity associated with dying. In some areas of the world, individuals may choose legalized medical aid in dying, allowing them to control the time and place of their own death.
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…
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.