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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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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My 94 Year Old Mom Has Depression. Where Do We Go From Here?

I recently received a letter from a listener of my podcast: "Dear Dr. Koepp, My mom has recently become depressed. She's 94 and lives alone. My family and I aren't sure what we should be doing (if anything). Where should we go from here?"

 

I have tremendous respect for this listener for reaching out to learn more about depression in older adulthood.

 

Let me start by saying that depression is NOT a normal part of aging, but depression IS the most prevalent mental health condition among older adults. Unfortunately, depression in late life often goes undetected and untreated largely due to the false belief that with age comes depression.

This is why it is so important to learn about depression and have tools and resources to help older adults to get treated for depression if and when they need it.

 

What are the rates of depression in older adults?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 1% to 5% of people 65 and older living in the...

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Older Adult Refusing To Go To the Doctor? Try These 5 Expert Tips

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You care about your older loved one so much and for some reason, they're just not listening to you and your pleas for them to go to the doctor. You try and you try, but nothing you say is convincing your older loved one that whatever is going on in their body is worth checking out.
 

In today's episode of the Psychology of Aging Podcast, I share 5 expert strategies for helping your older loved one to go to the doctor when they're refusing.

Here's a peak inside the episode:

  • [03:05] If your older loved one is refusing to go to the doctor and you're really worried,  you may find yourself being demanding or pushy. If so, consider changing how you approach your older loved one.
  • [04:32] Taking the time to see where your older loved one is coming from may help to reveal some important health care issues. 
  • [07:27] The third strategy might actually be a win:win and expand your older loved one's care network.
  • ...
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The Best Treatment for Sleep Problems in Elderly Adults - with Dr. Daniel Wachtel

 

 

 

You may be surprised to hear that the best sleep aid for older adults with insomnia is not a medication. It's a type of psychotherapy, called CBT-I for Insomnia, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I).

 

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders experienced by older adults. Insomnia essentially means that a person has trouble falling or staying asleep, or experiences non-restorative sleep. This, of course, can lead to issues during the day like cognitive problems and mood and emotional issues.

 

Did you know that as many as 50% of older adults complain about difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep? And in fact, older adults (people 65 and older) are more likely to experience insomnia than younger or middle aged adults.

 

But here's the thing... Sleep problems in elderly adults are treatable. In as little as one to ten (1-10 sessions) of CBT-I, older adults sleep better!

 

Today's guest, Dr. Daniel Wachtel is a...

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Expert Tips for Helping Suicidal Older Adults

 

 

 

Suicide is an important topic when it comes to older adults. Here's why.

 

White men over 85 have the highest rate of suicide in the country (more than any other age group). Does this come as a surprise to you?

 

It's also important to know that suicide attempts in older adults are more likely to result in death than younger adults due to the following reasons:

  • Older adults plan more carefully and use more lethal means
  • Older adults are less likely to be discovered and rescued
  • Less likely to recover from a failed attempt

 

And here's where you come in!  In today's episode, I share exactly what to say and do to help the older adults in your life who may be suicidal

 

A quick but important disclaimer as we get started:

I will be talking about suicide and suicide prevention and in doing this I'm going to be sharing a story that was published in the New York times in December 2019. I know that suicide is a very sensitive topic and...

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Older Adults and Depression: What to Know and How to Help (Ep #008)

 
 
 

 
 
I recently received a letter from a listener:

"Dear Dr. Koepp, My mom has recently become depressed. She's 94 and lives alone. She's seen her internist and is on 10 milligrams of Lexapro. My family and I aren't sure what we should be doing (if anything). Where should we go from here?"

 

In today's episode of the Psychology of Aging Podcast, I talk about older adults and depression. I share what you need to know and how you can help.

And here's why this is so important.

Depression is the most prevalent mental health condition among older adults.

Unfortunately, depression in late life often goes undetected and untreated largely due to the false belief that with age comes depression.

 

Here's a peak inside the episode:

  • [03:46] Many families don't know where to start when it comes to their older loved ones and depression. I share where to begin when you notice signs of depression.
  • [06:04] Depression is not a normal part of aging. So,...
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Grief and Loss During COVID (Part 2): Forced to Grieve Without a Funeral - Ep #006

 

 

 

 

Lauren Dykovitz was sitting vigil by her mom's bedside while she was on hospice with end stage Alzheimer's Disease during COVID. Lauren would imagine people lining up out the door at her mom's funeral and her biggest fear was that her mom would die during COVID and wouldn't get the funeral she and her family had dreamed of ... she was right.

 

I've created this two-part series on grief to give public affirmation and acknowledgement that there are many of you out there who are grieving. Today's podcast is my way of honoring you and your loved ones. And to make sure that nobody is alone with grief and bereavement during COVID. 

 
In today's podcast to help us understand grief during COVID, I have the privilege of interviewing Lauren Dykovitz. If you've been following me for a while, you'll remember that I interviewed Lauren for my Caring for Aging Parents Show on January 15, 2020. Lauren's mom sadly passed away at the beginning of April due...

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Grief and Loss During COVID (Part 1): Anticipatory Grief and Ambiguous Loss - Ep #005

 

 

 

 

Has your older loved one been in the hospital since the Coronavirus Pandemic and not allowed to have family by their side to comfort and advocate for them? 

 

This experience is incredibly upsetting for families... because in times of suffering and illness, it's healthy to reach to others for closeness. In fact, being physically close with our loved ones when we're sick actually provides comfort and helps us to heal.

 

This is a cruel irony indeed. On one hand, physical comfort is healing and protective... and on the other hand, with COVID, physical closeness can cause us harm. Social distancing while our loved ones are sick, has taken away one of our healthiest coping and soothing strategies.

 

Here are just a couple of statements I've heard from the people I work with. Can you relate?

 

"My aging parent needs me. They're not going to have anybody there to advocate for them in the hospital."

 

"I've been married 60 years!...

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Mental Wellness Tips for Older Adults During COVID-19 (Ep #002)

 

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Episode #002

 


 

With social distancing in full effect, older adults are encouraged to maintain their distance from others.  But this can have a major impact on your quality of life.

It's essential that during the COVID-19 pandemic that older adults stay physically safe and mentally well. Research shows that older adults who engage in meaningful and productive activities live longer, experience a better mood, and maintain a sense of purpose in their life.

To promote wellness for older adults, I have created a wellness guide to help older adults stay physically safe and mentally well during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

 

1. Stay connected with friends and family

Social distancing is important in maintaining your physical health and well-being in the time of COVID-19. And this is an important public health recommendation that we all need to follow.

The downside of social distancing, however, is that it increases the risk for...

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COVID-19 Wellness Guide for Older Adults

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