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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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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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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Living with Dementia: Finding Purpose and Hope with Christine Thelker

 

Chrissy Thelker was 55 years old when she had her first stroke and was subsequently diagnosed with Vascular Dementia. 

With more and more people living with dementia, it's imperative that we gain perspective and understanding of the lived experience of people living with dementia and the importance of advocacy, peer support, and building a purpose-filled life living with dementia. 

Today's guest shows us how. 

Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll learn from my interview with Chrissy Thelker:

  • [07:21] Chrissy shares the painful experience of losing her husband to cancer when she was 47 years old, and just 2 weeks after he was diagnosed. 
  • [12:38] Chrissy recalls the moment she had a stroke at work and describes feeling her body "sliding down the wall"- it was after this that she was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia at the age of 55. 
  • [21:26] A lot has changed since Chrissy had been diagnosed and living with dementia. She...
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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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Is Cannabis Use Safe for Older Adults? Interview with Dr. Peter Grinspoon

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Cannabis use, marijuana, and medical marijuana is becoming more and more acceptable and popular among older adults. 

 

In fact, millions of people are finding it useful for chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, PTSD, fibromyalgia, colitis, and a wide variety of medical conditions. This is not, however, without controversy or side effects.

 

I've even heard dementia caregivers giving CBD to their loved ones living with dementia to help manage insomnia and agitation.

 

Admittedly, I am naive when it comes to cannabis use for any age group, and especially for older adults. Not to mention cannabis use with dementia disorders.

 

For answers to some of my burning questions and to help deepen our understanding of cannabis use in older adults, I invited Dr. Peter Grinspoon on the podcast to share with us the pros and cons of cannabis use in older adults, the risks and benefits, and even cannabis use with older adults with...

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When Caregivers Have Chronic Medical Illness of Their Own with Dr. Kandi Schmidt

 

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As a society, we have so many unrealistic expectations for caregivers. As much as you hate to admit it, you may have even caught yourself thinking I can't believe that she moved her father into a nursing home, or I would never have made THAT decision.

 

We have so many judgments about the way caregivers "should" go about providing care. This, in turn, makes caregivers less likely to ask for help and more likely to shoulder the demands of caregiving all on their own.  This leaves caregivers feeling invisible and as if their needs are less important than everyone else's. Can you relate?

 

What if the caregiver has chronic and life threatening illnesses of their own? How does this change the caregiving dynamic?

 

To help answer this question, I invited my dear friend, Dr. Kandi Schmidt on the podcast to share her wisdom about this complex situation of caring for an older loved one when you yourself have...

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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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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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Social Distancing Doesn't Have to Mean Social Isolation for Older Adults

With the Coronavirus affecting adults over 60 at greater levels than other age groups, many older adults are electing to “self-isolate” or are actually on “lock down” at long-term care or skilled nursing communities. 

 

Social distancing and protecting the most “at risk” populations (i.e., adults 60 and older) is the current recommendation. And, I will do everything in my power to follow this guideline. 

 

The downside of social distancing, however,  is that it increases loneliness and isolation among a group of folks who are already at risk of social isolation- older adults, and more specifically older adults with chronic illness. 

 

What is the risk of social isolation?

There is a well established body of research linking social isolation and loneliness to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, a weakened immune system, depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, dementia, and even death. 

...

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COVID-19 Wellness Guide for Older Adults

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