Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:

Art & Alzheimer's: Dementia Awareness Through Photography with Gina Martin

Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode: Art & Alzheimer's: Dementia Awareness Through Photography with Gina Martin

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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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 at...

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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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Welcome to the Psychology of Aging Podcast (Ep #001)

 

Welcome to the first episode of...

The Psychology of Aging Podcast!

(Episode #001)

 


 

 
 
Did you know that people over 65 make up the fastest growing age group in the United States?
 
In fact, every day between 2011 and 2030, 10,000 people in the US will turn 65. Every DAY for 19 years, 10,000 people turn 65! Think about this for a minute.
 
The other day, my neighbor and I were talking, he told me, “today is my 65th birthday!” And my first thought was “wow, there are 9,999 other people celebrating their 65th birthday today, too!” So, to the 10,000 people turning 65 today, I say, “Happy Birthday! I hope this is the best year yet!”
 
Most people 65 and older will tell you that they don't feel old. The baby boom generation (people born between 1946-1964) are on average the healthiest and most active generation to begin reaching older adulthood. So, it makes sense that they are not happy with being...
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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.