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A Second Life for Isolated Older Adults? A Real-Life Look at Using Virtual Environments for Socializing

Advances in Internet technology have enabled the creation of immersive, realistic 3-D online environments. One of the most popular of these is Second Life, a world that users can explore to find areas and people of interest. Users of Second Life create avatars of themselves, which can then explore this virtual world and interact with other users in the world. Second Life users can...

Taking Charge: Lessons from Letting Older Adults Self-Direct Their Care

As the number of care options available for older adults has grown, many older adults and policymakers are championing the concept of self-direction—the idea that even older consumers with severe disabilities could be in charge of their own care. An evaluation of one program based on the principles of self-direction (the Cash and Counseling Demonstration) has shown that self-directed...

Zzzzz: Which Sleep Patterns in Older Adults Are Linked to Dementia?

Do sleep patterns predict older adults’ likelihood of developing dementia? Researchers attempted to answer this question by looking at how sleep patterns reported by older adults related to their incidence of dementia after 17 years of follow-up. The 11,247 participants were at least 65 at the start of this study, when their cognitive functioning and details of their sleep patterns...

Older Adults’ Feelings of Financial Strain Linked to Poor Health

Increasing evidence suggests that interpretations of personal circumstances can impact individuals’ health and quality of life. Research shows that in developed countries the subjective experience of financial strain has been more strongly associated with health and quality of life ratings than actual income levels. Recently, researchers looked into whether these patterns also existed for older adults in less developed countries, where older adults may be more economically vulnerable than their counterparts in richer, more developed countries.

Out of the Blue: New Model Helps Family Caregivers of Stroke Sufferers

Strokes provide numerous challenges to not only the sufferer of the stroke, but also to that individual’s caregiver. Because of the suddenness of strokes, many family caregivers are unprepared to provide caregiving responsibilities once a stroke sufferer is released from inpatient care. In order to help these caregivers, researchers identified the gaps in preparation for such...

TRENDING NOW: Senior Living Hails Ride-Sharing Apps for Residents

An increasing number of senior living and aging services organizations are turning to ride hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft as an option for their residents and customers. An executive at Lyft recently stated, “At Lyft we are trying to revolutionize how the senior care industry thinks about transportation and using technology to change these outdated processes.” He describes the...

Feeling Useful as a Human Being into Older Adulthood

Researchers are beginning to explore self-perceived usefulness and its impact on how we age. Specifically, Chinese researchers recently examined how older adults view their level of “uselessness” in a longitudinal study of 19,070 older adults, hypothesizing that the more useless an individual felt, the less successful their aging process would be over time.

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InvestigAge is brought to you by Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging