Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:

Cancer Caregiver Support: Caregiving & Bereavement Support with Ronni Levine, LMFT

Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode: Cancer Caregiver Support: Caregiving & Bereavement Support with Ronni Levine, LMFT

Cancer Caregiver Support & Bereavement Groups with Ronni Levine, LMFT

 

Cancer affects individuals, families, and communities. According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2020, an estimated 1,806,590 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the United States and approximately 39.5% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes.  

 

The American Cancer Society conducted an 8 year study published in 2013 and found that on average cancer caregivers spent about 8 hours per day providing care. They also stated that caregivers need a strong support system, explaining that having a system of support helps to weather the storms common with cancer, like a loved one’s recurrence of cancer or death from cancer. 

 

In this Psychology of Aging podcast episode, Ronni Levine, LMFT, facilitator of cancer caregiving support groups and cancer bereavement groups for the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico, discusses the benefits of cancer caregiver support and shares tips for...

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Facts About Aging and Alcohol: Signs of Alcohol Abuse in Older Adults & How to Help

 

 

Many older adults decide to stop drinking as they get older (YAY!).

There's an ageist idea circling around society, however,  that suggests that "older adults can't change". This idea is not only false, it's incredibly harmful to older adults who may just believe this erroneous statement and never get the help they need when it comes to substance use disorders and other mental health conditions.

Some researchers and mental health and aging groups talk about the invisibility of alcohol use among older adults, explaining that even though the number of older adults with alcohol problems is on the rise, alcohol use disorders are too often unrecognized and untreated. Some reasons for this have to do with symptoms of problematic drinking often masquerading as other health conditions in older adults like diabetes, dementia, and depression.

To complicate matters, many older adults don't seek professional help for what they often consider a "private matter" and...

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Living and Aging Well with HIV: The Need for Better Mental Health Care with Mark Brennan-Ing

 

 

More than half of the people in the US living 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.  This is great news. 

 

Sadly, stigma due to age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and HIV status contributes to poor mental health and physical health. 

 

In this interview, Dr. Mark Brennan-Ing, Director of Research and Evaluation at the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging at Hunter College, the City University of New York is on the Psychology of Aging podcast sharing important information about:

  • HIV among people aged 50 and over
  • The social, cultural, and medical reasons that adults 55 and older live with HIV longer before getting a diagnosis
  • Reasons why people living with HIV might be experience depression at 5 times that of the general population
  • What we can do to help meet the medical and...
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Older Adults Caring for Adult Children with Autism with Lois Shingler

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Over 75% of adults with developmental disabilities live at home with family. There is a growing population of aging caregivers of adults with developmental disabilities, in part due to increased lifespan and extensive waiting lists for residential services (The Arc Autism Now).  

 

In honor of World Autism Day, today's podcast episode focuses on older adults who are caring for adult children with autism or other Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDDs).

 

In this interview, Lois Shingler, an attorney and co-founder of Peter and Paul’s Place shares her experience of being 70 years old while caring for Paul, her 45 year old son with Autism. She also provides several tips for other aging parents caring for their adult children with IDDs. Here's a peek inside the episode: 

  • [10:45] Lois describes her experience of entering older adulthood while caring for Paul, her 45...
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Caregiver Support: How To Care For and Help A Caregiver?

 

 5 ways to care for and help a caregiver

If you have an aging parent who is a primary caregiver it can be hard to know what to say and do. Caregivers, especially spouses, may be hesitant to ask for help or a break. They may think that this is part of the vow that they made, thru sickness and health. These 5 tips will give you some ideas of how to be helpful. 

 

1. Be there for the caregiver

Simply being present and showing up for your caregiving parent can provide them with comfort and security in knowing that they're not alone. Caregiving can be challenging and rewarding.Hold space for both experiences. Some ways to be there and be present include:

  • Calling and checking in with your caregiving parent regularly
  • Acknowledging the importance of the care they're providing and the value that caregiving has.
  • Validating how hard caregiving can be emotionally and physically.
  • Identifying the meaning caregiving is bringing to you and...
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When Aging Parents Need Help: Family Caregiving Roles & Impacts

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When older adults begin to experience physical or mental health changes, like with dementia disorders, it can be difficult to know the steps to take to be helpful.

It can be particularly difficult for family caregivers to know how to balance independence with concerns for safety.

And, to top it off, you may worry that insisting that your loved one see a doctor may rupture your relationship with them, push them away, or undermine their rights and dignity.

In situations like these, it's essential that we have experts to guide us, people like, Dr. Sara Qualls, Clinical Geropsychologist and Kraemer Family Professor of Aging Studies at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS).

 

, Dr. Qualls discusses:

  • Common role transitions in older families
  • Tips for balancing safety and autonomy
  • Strategies for having tough conversations with aging loved ones while preserving dignity and respect
  • Steps to...
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The 6 Stages of Caregiving Along the Caregiver's Journey

Understanding the stages of caregiving will help you to identify where you’re at in your own caregiver’s journey and the common struggles and goals in each stage.

Knowing that you’re not alone and having tools to manage challenges that may arise helps will help you along the caregiver's journey and reduce stress and feelings of guilt and overwhelm.

 

6 Stages of Family Caregiving 

There is no timeline for these stages along the caregiver’s journey. Some families receive a diagnosis of a terminal medical condition and move through these stages at lightning speed, and other families and illnesses (e.g., dementia disorders) can experience a drawing out of these stages.  

 

The following 6 stages of family caregiving are inspired by Denise Brown's 6 Stages of Caregiving and based upon  Caregiver Family Therapy by Dr. Sara Qualls and my near 20 years of providing family therapy to older families and as lead of a family couples...

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The 12 Best Brain Health Recommendations To Reduce Risk for Dementia

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Researchers have been investigating brain health recommendations that help to reduce our risk for cognitive decline in older adulthood. Many of the tips that I'm going to share today are really about how to live your healthiest life and achieve optimal physical health, brain health, and mental health in older adulthood. 

 

You may already be doing many of these tips. As you listen to this episode, take notes and make a list. Put a check mark by items that you are currently doing and a star next to the items that you need to be doing more of to achieve optimal health. At the end of the episode, give yourself some praise for what you're already doing, then choose one of the starred items to focus on to optimize your brain health and mental health. 

 

Let's dive in to the 12 evidence-based brain health recommendations to reduce your risk for cognitive decline and dementia and promote mental well being:

Here's...

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The Positive Effects Of Nature On Brain Health and Mental Health

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According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American spends only 7% of their entire life outdoors. Spending instead,  93% of their life indoors, including 87% of their life is inside buildings or homes, then another 6% of life in automobiles. 

 

This statistic is staggering, especially when considering that spending time outdoors and in nature is good for our brain.  Research has identified the benefits of walking in nature on memory (Berman, Jonides, & Kaplan, 2008), attention and focus (Hartig, Mang, & Evans, 1991), and problem-solving skills and creative abilities (Atchley, Strayer, & Atchley, 2012).

 

Similar studies have found that being in nature is good for our mental health in that it reduces stress (Gidlow, Randall, Gillman, Smith, & Jones, 2016) and uplifts our mood and promotes motivation (Berman et al., 2012)

 

Our guest today, Dr. Paula...

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Mild Cognitive Impairment Vs. Dementia Vs. Alzheimer's and What We Can Do About Them with Dr. Jason Karlawish

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With so many questions about the difference between mild cognitive impairment versus dementia versus Alzheimer's Disease, we're glad to have experts like Neurologist, Dr. Jason Karlawish, to provide answers and share tips for staving off dementia when you have mild cognitive impairment.

 

Dr. Karlawish also implores the healthcare system, pharmaceutical companies, and society at large to change the way we practice inclusion of people living with cognitive disorders.

 

Whether you're a professional, a family caregiver, or person living with dementia, or all three, this is an interview you don't want to miss. 

 

In today's interview, Dr. Jason Karlawish, Neurologist and Co-Director of the Penn Memory Center answers some of your burning dementia questions, like: 

  • What is mild cognitive impairment? 
  • Describe the difference between Mild Cognitive Impairment Vs. Dementia Vs....
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