Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:

Expert Tips for Finding Senior Living with a Mental Health Condition - with Candy Cohn

Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode: Expert Tips for Finding Senior Living with a Mental Health Condition - with Candy Cohn

Expert Tips for Finding Senior Living with a Mental Health Condition

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When he was in his late 80s, Candy Cohn's father unintentionally stopped taking medication for a long-standing bipolar disorder and experienced a significant mental health crisis requiring hospitalization and intensive treatment. It was following this episode that Candy knew that she needed to help her older parents find a senior living community that would provide more continuity and medication management and offer opportunities for a better quality of life than they were getting at home. But, where to start?

 

I have witnessed many older adults living with significant mental health conditions, like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, at times struggle to find senior living communities.

 

There are some mental health conditions that are expected in assisted living environments, like depression and anxiety, which often occur with dementia and medical conditions. In fact, one in three residents takes a medication for a...

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Older Adults and Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic: 5 Proven Strategies

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When we think of older adults during COVID, images of older adults living in long-term care communities sheltering in place with hands pressed against windows trying to connect with loved ones circle in our heads.

2020 was a year of incredible hardship and pain for many people and especially for many older adults and their families. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells us that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults have the greatest risk of requiring hospitalization or dying if they’re diagnosed with COVID-19. This has been one of the most heartbreaking fall outs of the pandemic. 
 

(Images retrieved on 1/5/21 from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/older-adults.html)


We also know that many older families living with dementia or other significant illness during COVID-19 have been hit especially hard with closures of adult day...

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Dementia Communication Tips with Alzheimer's Poetry Project's Gary Glazner

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In my work with people caring for loved ones with dementia, I often hear comments like: "they've become a stranger to me" or "I don't even recognize them anymore".

Dementia is a devastating illness that often robs families of the opportunity to connect and experience joy.  Because of this, it's essential that we find a way to share connecting moments, enjoy one another, and see a little piece of the person eclipsed by the shadow of this devastating illness.

And, I have just the person to help us with this!

In this week's episode, I interview Gary Glazner, the founder and Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project. In this interview, Gary generously shares with us strategies facilitating communication and connection with our loved ones with dementia and even shares about his own experience bringing poetry to his mom at the end of her life.

 

 

 Here’s a sneak peek at what...

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Real Talk about Hospice and Palliative Care with Lauren Marcewicz, MD

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Have you ever had the experience of meeting up with a dear friend for coffee or talking with your trusted therapist, and all of a sudden, you stumble into a conversation that's a little scary and emotional? Maybe you hesitate for a minute and ask yourself if you're gonna take the risk and really "go there".

I don't know about you, but when I find myself in these situations with a person I trust, and I make the choice to dive in, I end up learning a lot about myself and having an even closer relationship with the person I'm talking with.

I'm going to ask you to "go there" with me today as I interview Dr. Lauren Marcewicz, Palliative Care Physician. In this interview with Dr. Marcewicz, we have a real conversation about hospice, palliative care, family dynamics, and so much more.

 

Here's a peak inside my interview with Dr. Lauren Marcewicz:

  • [04:49] Dr. Marcewicz shares what drew her to end of life care.
  • [08:45] Learn one of...
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How to Talk About End of Life Wishes - with Patty Webster, The Conversation Project

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Have you had an end of life conversation with a loved one? What feelings came up for when you read this? Fear? Sadness? Longing? Remorse?

 

Naturally, when we experience these feelings, we often want to run from them, rather than toward them. 

 

But, did you know that when we actually pursue end of life conversations with our loved ones, it actually does more good than harm. 

 

Research shows that end-of-life conversations lead to improved mental health and better-quality of life for both patients and caregivers. Here's how:

  • The person dying reports relief and less distress after talking with their loved ones about end of life wishes
  • When there is a meaningful conversation about end-of-life choices, survivors report feeling less guilt and less depression and having an easier process of grieving. 

 

Now that you know end of life conversations can be helpful, in this podcast episode, I...

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HIV, Mental Health, and Older Adults: Must Know Statistics

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In honor of world AIDS day on 12/1, I am devoting today’s episode to HIV and Aging. And, yes. HIV is an important topic when it comes to aging. An estimated 1.2 million people in the United States had HIV at the end of 2018. 

 

More than half of the adults living in the US with HIV are 50 years old and older.

 

With the use of antiretroviral medications, people who were diagnosed with HIV decades ago have been able to live well into older adulthood.

 

1 out of 6 people who are newly diagnosed with HIV are 50 and older

 

 

 

CDC also tells us some important factors that particularly affect older adults when it comes to HIV:

  • Older adults and their providers are less likely to discuss sexual or drug use behaviors. Health care providers may not ask patients aged 50 and older about these issues or test them for HIV. Also, older people may not consider themselves to be at risk for HIV, may be...
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Caregiving During COVID-19: 5 Self-Care Strategies for Caregivers

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November is National Caregiver Month, but I really think this entire year should be dedicated to caregivers for all that they have been through during COVID.

 

In today’s episode, I share statistics about the toll of caregiving during COVID and 5 self-care strategies for caregivers during COVID. 


Family caregivers during COVID are more stressed and overwhelmed than ever before and here are some reasons why:

  • Approximately 61% of caregivers are employed while caregiving. Of these caregivers, 60% work 40 or more hours a week and another 15% work 30-39 hours per week. 
  • Caregiving resources during COVID have been limited. Many resources that caregivers rely on like senior centers and adult day programs have been (and remain closed) for several months.
  • Caregivers may not be comfortable with home health aides coming into the home for fear of exposure to COVID, so have cancelled home health aide assistance,...
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Affirming Care for Transgender Older Adults with Loree Cook-Daniels

diversity podcast Nov 18, 2020

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Transgender Awareness Week (November 13-19) is a week when transgender people and their allies (like me!), take action to bring attention to the transgender community by educating the public.

 

This education includes describing who transgender people are, sharing stories and experiences and advancing advocacy around the issues of prejudice, discrimination and violence that affects the transgender community (GLAAD, 2020)

 

This week leads up to the Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, the day in which we honor the memory of transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. I hope that you join me on November 20 in taking a moment of silence and thinking about the lives lost over this past year.

 

Transgender folks have heartbreaking rates of suicidal ideation and attempts. According to a 2019 study, suicidal ideation averaged 46.55% and attempts averaged 27.19%. Suicide...

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Support Veterans thru Loving Conversations. Expert Tips From a Former VA Psychologist

 

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You may be surprised to hear that about half of today’s Veterans are 65 and older.

If you're caring for an aging Veteran, you may have many questions but not know where to start. Once you do get started, you might not know HOW TO ACTUALLY HAVE a conversation with your loved one about their military service.
 
Maybe you're afraid of saying the wrong thing, pushing too hard, or maybe you're afraid that starting this conversation will open pandora's box of memories.
 
I have been working with older Veterans and their families for more than 10 years, so I thought it would be helpful to share these expert tips on talking with aging parents about their military service with you!

 

 

Chances are, if you're caring for an aging parent (65 or older) who served in the military, their service was influenced by WW-II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War.

 

Offering the opportunity for your aging parents...

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Exercise Program For Seniors: How to Strengthen Body and Mind with Vivo’s Eric Levitan

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Exercise is essential for healthy aging. Having a consistent exercise routine helps to reduce risk of mental health conditions, improves cognitive function, and helps our bodies to function optimally.

 

Knowing the "right" exercise for older adults is key. In today's episode, I interview Eric Levitan, founder and CEO of Vivo, a digital fitness company focused on strength training for older adults. And Surprise!  Also joining us in today's interview is Eric's 79 year old dad, Michael Levitan, who's a college professor and has been exercising with Vivo for the past several months, and noticing remarkable changes.

I want to share that I have no affiliation with Vivo. I don't get any financial incentive by sharing their program with you. So why am I using my podcast to talk about Vivo? As you know, older adults and caregivers are the hardest hit by COVID. Older adults have been locked down and scared, while caregivers have...

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