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Tag: Older Adults

Attitude Matters: Outlook on Aging Shapes Health Outcomes

Older adults approach the aging process with a wide range of beliefs and psychological defense mechanisms in place to combat the inevitable cognitive and physical declines that come with a greater tenure on planet Earth. As Betty White once said, “I may be a senior, but so what? I’m still hot.” If we are to assume that this quote embodies her approach toward aging, then she would...

Senior Sextistics

Believe it or not, in some circles, it’s still taboo to talk about sex. But it’s not hard to believe that there are basically no circles where people are eager to discuss sex among older adults. Nonetheless, sex in later life usually doesn’t stop entirely. Instead, older adults tend to experience a decline in previous rates of sexual intercourse as they age and begin to...

The Positive Effects of Internet Usage in Older Adults

New research suggests that time spent perusing the Internet may actually reduce the probability of depression in older adults by as much as 33 percent. Early research on Internet usage and older adults has found mixed results, with some studies suggesting health benefits and others being inconclusive—probably, in part, due to small sample size. However, new research published in the...

How Do Different Types of Leisure Affect Depressive Symptoms?

Participation in leisure activities has been shown to benefit the mental health of older adults, but it has not always been clear what mental health symptom changes are affected by which leisure activity. Recently a study in Taiwan looked at which types of symptoms associated with depression were impacted by changes in social, physical, and intellectual activity. The impact of certain...

The More You Know: A PSA on How to Be a Wiser Consumer of Scientific Research

A recent study in Neurobiology of Aging attempted to further scientific understanding of how the aging process impacts the human capacity to empathize. While the findings were less than conclusive, they have provided additional support for what neuro-psychological researchers have known for years—functional MRI (fMRI) studies are expensive, and small sample sizes lead to inconclusive...

Reflections on Aging, Irony & Wisdom

“Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.”—Charlie Chaplin To paraphrase the wise comedian, life is ironic—a paradox that sometimes makes us laugh and other times scream-cry like a colicky baby. The notions of irony and wisdom have been married in the world of comedy since the beginning of time—like Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman. That said, pairing...

Older Adults & Substance Abuse

A recent review in Current Opinion in Psychiatry addressed the unique problems posed by substance abuse among older adults. In addition to describing the prevalence of substance abuse, this review covered challenges in diagnosing and treating substance abuse in older adults, the consequences of substance abuse for older populations, and changing trends in substance abuse as the baby...

Attitudes toward Older Patients among Physicians-in-Training

With the aging of the US population, there may be a need for an increased number of geriatric doctors, and for more medical school education on aging and older adults. Medical school curricula are, in fact, incorporating more geriatric training to address this need. Despite the increased exposure to geriatric training, however, survey research on medical students and medical residents...

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