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Preventing Financial Elder Abuse & Exploitation with Dr. Peter Lichtenberg

Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode: Preventing Financial Elder Abuse & Exploitation with Dr. Peter Lichtenberg

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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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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COVID-19 Health Disparities among African American and Latinx Seniors - with Dr. Monique Williams

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With COVID rates on the rise, and African American and Latinx folks 2-3 times more likely to have COVID than White Americans, I wanted to bring an expert on the podcast today to share a little bit about why this health disparity exists and what we can do to reduce this disparity and strengthen our community in the midst of it all.

 

Before we get started, I want to acknowledge that COVID is lasting longer than many of us anticipated. If you're an older adult, or caring for an older adult during COVID, download the free COVID-19 Wellness Guide for Older Adults. It'll help you weather this storm.

Here’s a look inside my interview with Dr. Monique Williams:

  • [05:04] Dr. Williams describes her person-centered approach to practicing medicine in outpatient primary care with older adults.
  • [09:55] For most of us, our life's passion is not realized until after Kindergarten, but this was not the case for Dr. Williams. Dr....
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COVID-19 & Ageism: Two Harmful Agents Affecting Older Adults

ageism blog covid-19 Jun 26, 2020

Coronavirus: Isolate the Elderly was the sign on the freeway that I would see twice a day as I drove to and from work at a busy medical center in a Geropsychiatry Outpatient Clinic to provide teletherapy to older adults and their families during COVID. I cringed every time I drove past this sign.

 

Since COVID started, I have received several emails from people who care about older adults expressing concern for them. Like, a college professor who reached out to me to express concern that her father, who is a physician, made the decision to leave retirement to return to work in a medical clinic during COVID. She shared with me that she was appalled and went so far as to call his medical practice and complain.

 

There have been countless ageist expressions since the coronavirus started. And the problem with ageism, even well-meaning ageism, is that it has the effect of harming older adults rather than helping them. 

 

I’ll start with the sign on the freeway:...

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Your Guide to Grief and Bereavement During COVID-19

Over the past few weeks listeners have been reaching out to me sharing their stories of loss. I’ve heard from several people that their aging parent or their older sister-in-law, or their older cousin died. Some due to coronavirus and others due to dementia, or even a sudden heart attack.

 

I've created this blog post and a two-part podcast series on grief to give affirmation and acknowledgement that there are many of you out there who are grieving. This grief series 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 this article, I answer many of the frequently asked questions I get about grief (including some of the questions recently posed to me by journalists), and I share resources for grief and bereavement support.

 

My hope with this grief series, is that you feel less alone in your grief during COVID, that you have more courage to face the losses in your life, and that you...

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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...

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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...

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Older Adults, Families, and Senior Care Communities Working Together During COVID-19 (Ep #004)

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Episode #004


 

 

We’ve all heard stories of older adults on lock down in their long-term care community. Maybe you’ve even seen the images of family members visiting their loved ones separated by windows or glass.  Like a granddaughter sharing her engagement ring, a son sitting outside talking on the phone with his dad inside his apartment, or a couple presenting their newborn to the grandfather. 

 

 As a Psychologist who specializes with older adults and families, and who provides a lot of education and training to long-term care communities, I have the unique opportunity to see into the inner world of the older adult living in a long-term care community, the concerned family member, and the long-term care community and it's staff as well.

 

In this episode, I explore the common emotional experiences during COVID-19 of older adults, their families, and the senior care communities they live in. And,...

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The Psychology Behind Retired Doctors and Nurses Returning To Work During COVID-19 (Ep #003)

 

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Episode #003


 


 

Do you know any older adults who are refusing to maintain their social distance? Okay, let me give you an example. Have you seen the article of the Italian doctors who returned to work after retirement to assist the Italian healthcare system only to become seriously ill or die themselves as a result of the Coronavirus?

 

A listener actually recently emailed me to say that she's really worried about her own parent who recently returned from retirement to assist with their medical clinic... and this clinic doesn't even treat Coronavirus! This listener was distraught! She felt powerless over her older parent's decision.

 

I wanted to spend some time on this podcast talking a little bit about the psychological underpinnings of why older adults might refuse to maintain social distance and work instead.

 

In this episode, I share two psychological theories to explain why older adults may put themselves...

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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

You'll get tips for staying mentally and physically well during the Coronavirus Pandemic.