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

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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Dementia Education for African American Families with Dr. Fayron Epps

 

Dementia is one of the most important, but often overlooked, health care issues related to older African Americans.

 

Research shows that African Americans are two to three times more likely to develop a dementia disorder (compared to European Americans) and at the same time are less likely to be diagnosed early in the disease process and provided with adequate treatment.

 

Today's guest, Dr. Fayron Epps, Nurse Scientist and Assistant Professor at Emory University, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, is focused on changing this by improving access to resources and awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias in African American and faith communities by conducting research and providing education. 

 

Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll learn from my interview with Dr. Fayron Epps

  • [08:24] Dementia education is essential to caring for loved ones with dementia. Dr. Epps describes...
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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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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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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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The Unique Needs of LGTBQ Caregivers with SAGE's Tim Johnston, PhD

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If you're a caregiver, you know that caregiving can be rewarding and incredibly challenging, all at the same time. If you're an LGBTQ caregiver, you'll have some unique challenges that straight caregivers don't typically have. Some of these being that LGTBQ Caregivers experience more isolation while caregiving and have poorer mental and physical health in the long run. 

Here's the good news... we can improve this. This episode will share many resources and tips for helping LGTBQ caregivers reduce isolation and improve outcomes for the caregiver and the person they are caring for!

 

I want you to have the most up to date information on LGTBQ caregivers, so today, we go straight to the source and interview SAGE's, Senior Director of National Projects, Dr. Tim Johnston.

 

SAGE is a national advocacy and services organization that's been looking out for LGBT elders since 1978. SAGE builds welcoming communities and keeps...

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Enhancing Care for LGTBQ Seniors with SAGE's Tim Johnston, PhD

 

 

 

Get ready for the confetti because it's Pride!!

How do Pride and the Psychology of Aging fit together? Well, let me tell you, there are an estimated more than 3 million LGBTQ folks over 50 living in the US. This number is expected to more than double to 7 million by 2030. Okay, but here's the thing. These are just estimates the numbers are probably higher, but they're estimates because the US Census hasn't captured how many LGBTQ folks actually live in America. Boo.

 

Why is this so important?

In a matter of one month, two older men (one in his 70s and the other in his 80s, each married to women) revealed to me that they were bisexual. They wished to spend time in therapy learning more about themselves, their sexuality, and sexual identity. One of my clients had such little access to information about sexual identity over his lifetime that he takes notes during our sessions.

 

And guess what?! This is not entirely unusual. There are nearly twice as...

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The Toll of Racism on African American Seniors and Tips for Care

blog diversity older adults Jun 10, 2020

With the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, there has been an important spotlight on racial injustice in this country and the toll that these injustices have taken on Black lives.

As a Geropsychologist working in Atlanta, a City in Georgia known for its history of slavery and Civil Rights, many of the African American seniors I work with have experienced indentured servitude, sharecropping, Jim Crow, no voting rights, and segregation (to name only a few). These experiences, coupled with modern-day atrocities and racial injustices, result in cumulative race-related stressors that have a profoundly negatively impact their physical and mental health.

Some of the more striking examples of physical health disparities being related to cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia, and more recently, COVID. 
  • Cardiovascular Disease: African Americans have two to three times the likelihood of dying from cardiovascular disease compared with Whites at any...
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Dementia Rates Highest for African Americans: Tips for Equitable Care - with Dr. Vonetta Dotson

 

 

 

 

Dementia is one of the most important, but often overlooked, health care issues related to older African Americans.

 

In fact, research shows that African Americans are two to three times more likely to develop a dementia disorder (compared to European Americans) and at the same time are less likely to be diagnosed early in the disease process and provided with adequate treatment.

 

The burning question is "WHY?!!".

 

Luckily there are experts, like Dr. Vonetta Dotson, Neuropsychologist, who can help us understand why this is happening and what we can do about it.

 

In this week's interview, Dr. Dotson shares biological, genetic, and social factors that increase the risk for dementia. She also shares what you can do to ensure that your loved ones are getting the best, most equitable and comprehensive health care. AND, she shares tips for keeping your own brain healthy!

 

So, take some time to listen to the podcast now!

 

...

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Why I Do Antiracist Work & Why You Should, Too

 

 

My heart is heavy this week with all that has been highlighted related to racial injustice and the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor…. and the millions of other lives over the centuries taken by racist acts.

 

This week, I talk about why I do antiracist work and why you should, too. 

Racism is associated with depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other serious conditions like, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorders. The stress caused by racism can contribute to the development of cardiovascular and other physical diseases, including dementia.

 

Here's a peak inside the episode:

  • I share surprising statistics on disparities in health and health care due to racism. If the statistics on disparities related to maternal mortality rates for African American women don't compel you to be anti-racist, you may need to check your pulse.
  • There is a mental health toll to having experienced racism as an African American...
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