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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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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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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Psychological Assessment and Therapy with Older Adults: What to Expect in a First Session

 

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A couple of weeks ago, I got together (over Zoom, of course) with my dear friend, Psychologist, Dr. Quiera Lige. She shared with me that she had an older family member who would benefit from therapy, but that this family member had not known any other people in their generation to go to to therapy and didn't know what to expect. She suggested that I create a podcast episode about what therapy actually looks like when you go to therapy as an older adult.

 

For older adults, there is a lot of stigma surrounding what it means to need mental health care and as a result, older adults do not tend to seek out therapy when they need it.

 

Older adults continue to experience mental health concerns as they age. Studies show that when older adults do engage in mental health care, the vast majority of the time they get better.

If we can help older adults who are struggling with depression, anxiety, insomnia, grief, compounded...

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Older Adults and Suicide: What You Can Do to Help

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In honor of Suicide Prevention Week, I'm devoting today's podcast episode to older adults and suicide. More specifically, what puts older adults at risk for suicide and how you can help.

 

You may be surprised to hear that older White men over 85 are at the greatest risk and have the highest rates of suicide - more than any other age group.

 

But, here’s the thing, older adults are too often left out of conversations when it comes to simple things like assessing for depression, assessing for suicide, and then connecting older adults to the appropriate mental health care. As a result, most older adults with mental health concerns are treated in primary care settings, rather than mental health settings.

 

Here's where you come in. In today's episode, I share facts about older adults and suicide, including what increases risk for suicide in older adults, and several strategies for helping older adults at risk...

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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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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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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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