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An Apple a Day Keeps Distress at Bay: Psychological Benefits of Eating Fruits & Veggies

There is growing evidence that nutrition not only plays a role in disease prevention, it can also impact mental health. A recent study of more than 50,000 middle-aged and older adults (average age of 62) examined the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and psychological distress, or symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. This study looked at how reported...

Share and Share Alike: How Patterns of Generosity Change with Age

Research suggests that generosity increases with age. One reason suggested for this is that older adults may be more motivated to provide assistance to individuals who are not likely to reciprocate that generosity. In general, people are most generous to those who are socially close to them, but researchers wanted to see if age is associated with changes in this pattern. To answer this...

Listening with the EAR: An Advancement in How We Can Listen to Older Adults

I vividly remember classmates at the University of Arizona in the early 2000s speaking about amazing technology that a professor had developed and was using to study interactions between male and female faculty in the STEM sciences. What caught my ear was that it was a tool call EAR—for Electronically Activated Recorder—with non-intrusive listening capabilities for sampling...

TRENDING NOW: Empty Convents Converted into Housing for Older Adults

A number of projects are underway to convert underutilized convents around Chicago into housing for older adults. These buildings once offered living spaces for nuns, but due to a decline in numbers over the past two decades, they have become empty. These places have a deep history within their respective communities and are already designed for communal living, so instead of leaving...

Day by Day: Immediate Benefits to Older Adults from Physical Activity

Although much evidence suggests that physical activity has physical and psychological benefits for older adults, less is known about how types of activity and time spent being active might be associated with day-to-day well-being benefits such as positive emotions, sleep quality, and stress. A recent study looked into how purposeful activity such as an exercise class compares to...

Virtually Yours: How People with Dementia Respond to Virtual Reality Programs

As virtual reality (VR) technology becomes more common and less expensive, the aging services industry and researchers are beginning to explore its potential uses with older adults. One report covered the use of a VR program with older adults with dementia. The VR program chosen was a virtual forest, which employs a large interactive screen and motion sensors to immerse an individual...

Re-Examining Lifestyle Redesign: A Closer Look at What Makes an Intervention Succeed

In order to design and implement successful lifestyle interventions for older adults, it’s important to understand the mechanisms that contribute to their success. A recent study took a closer look at Lifestyle Redesign, an evidence-based behavioral lifestyle intervention that has been shown to reduce depressive symptoms in older adults. This program involves weekly group sessions on...

BROs before Lows: How a Cost-Effective Befriending Intervention Combats Loneliness in Older Adults

Social isolation and loneliness are gaining attention globally through public awareness campaigns such as the UK’s Campaign to End Loneliness and AARP’s Connect2Affect. But which interventions are successful, and how cost-effective are they? One approach to combat loneliness and social isolation has been labelled befriending, which prior research suggests improves emotional and...

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