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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

Addressing Suicide Among Older Adults with Yeates Conwell, MD


Suicide is heart breaking and tragic. Today's guest, Yeates Conwell, MD, geriatric psychiatrist and leading expert on suicide among older adults is on the podcast to guide us in understanding late life suicide and how we can help older adults who may be suicidal.


With older white men over 85 having the highest rates of suicide, more than any other age group, it's essential that we have tools for addressing and preventing elderly suicide.


Here's what we'll cover in this episode:

  • Statistics about older adults and suicide?
  • Why do older white men have the highest rates of suicide?
  • Among older adults, what is suicidal behavior mainly associated with?
  • How to help older adults who may be suicidal?


Here's a peek inside the episode:

  • [05:19] Late life suicide is trend all around the world. Dr. Conwell sheds light on statistics about older adults and suicide.

  • [09:59] Learn what may be contributing to older white men having the highest rate of suicide....

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How Does Ageism & Age Discrimination Affect Older Adults' Health

In 2020, researchers identified that ageism cost the US $63 billion dollars in one year and resulted in 17.04 million cases of 8 of the most expensive health and mental health conditions, including heart disease, dementia, cancer, diabetes, mental health conditions, among others.

In this episode, you'll learn about ageism, how age discrimination affects the physical and mental health of older adults, and what you can do to combat ageism. 

  • [02:03] What is ageism and why is it so harmful. 
  • [06:53] Discover the difference between structural ageism and individual ageism. 
  • [08:51] How does ageism affect older adults' physical health? 
  • [10:48]How does ageism affect the mental health of older adults?
  • [13:22] Learn 3 strategies for combatting ageism.


Resources mentioned: 



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Anxiety in Elderly Adults: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments


Anxiety is NOT normal with aging and can be effectively treated. Unfortunately, anxiety in the elderly often goes undetected and untreated largely due to the false belief that with age it’s normal to have a mental health problem.

Good news:  Anxiety is highly treatable in older adults!

Here's what you'll learn in this episode:

  • [03:11] What is anxiety?
  • [05:10] What are the different types of anxiety disorder older adults experience? 
  • [05:40] Signs and symptoms of anxiety in the elderly?
  • [06:55] How common are anxiety disorders among older adults?
  • [07:51] What is the most common anxiety disorder among older adults? 
  • [08:34] What causes anxiety in older adults?
  • [10:40] Anxiety and depression commonly go together
  • [11:38] What happens when anxiety goes untreated in older adults? 
  • [12:31] Anxiety in elderly, treatment that works.
  • [14:25] How to talk with older adults about getting mental health care


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The Mental Health Crisis Facing Older Adults & Their Families


There's a mental health crisis facing older adults in their families. Adults 65 and older are the fastest growing age group in the United States. In fact, by 2034, there will be more adults 65 and older than children under the age of 18.


 About 1 in 4 older adults experiences a mental health condition, including depression, anxiety, dementia, substance use and more, yet 67% of them struggle to get adequate mental health care, resulting in worse medical and mental health outcomes, like suicide. Herein lies the crisis.


In this podcast episode, I discuss the mental health crisis older adults and their families are facing and I share a big announcement about what I aim to do about it.


Here's what you'll learn in this episode:

  • [03:33] What are the rates of mental health conditions among older adults?
  • [05:02] What happens when mental health conditions go untreated in older adults?
  • [07:16] What makes older adult mental health is a health care...
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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...

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Facts About Aging and Alcohol: Signs of Alcohol Abuse in Older Adults & How to Help



Many older adults decide to stop drinking as they get older (YAY!).

There's an ageist idea circling around society, however,  that suggests that "older adults can't change". This idea is not only false, it's incredibly harmful to older adults who may just believe this erroneous statement and never get the help they need when it comes to substance use disorders and other mental health conditions.

Some researchers and mental health and aging groups talk about the invisibility of alcohol use among older adults, explaining that even though the number of older adults with alcohol problems is on the rise, alcohol use disorders are too often unrecognized and untreated. Some reasons for this have to do with symptoms of problematic drinking often masquerading as other health conditions in older adults like diabetes, dementia, and depression.

To complicate matters, many older adults don't seek professional help for what they often consider a "private matter" and...

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Older Adults Caring for Adult Children with Autism with Lois Shingler




Over 75% of adults with developmental disabilities live at home with family. There is a growing population of aging caregivers of adults with developmental disabilities, in part due to increased lifespan and extensive waiting lists for residential services (The Arc Autism Now).  


In honor of World Autism Day, today's podcast episode focuses on older adults who are caring for adult children with autism or other Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDDs).


In this interview, Lois Shingler, an attorney and co-founder of Peter and Paul’s Place shares her experience of being 70 years old while caring for Paul, her 45 year old son with Autism. She also provides several tips for other aging parents caring for their adult children with IDDs. Here's a peek inside the episode: 

  • [10:45] Lois describes her experience of entering older adulthood while caring for Paul,...
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When Aging Parents Need Help: Family Caregiving Roles & Impacts



When older adults begin to experience physical or mental health changes, like with dementia disorders, it can be difficult to know the steps to take to be helpful.

It can be particularly difficult for family caregivers to know how to balance independence with concerns for safety.

And, to top it off, you may worry that insisting that your loved one see a doctor may rupture your relationship with them, push them away, or undermine their rights and dignity.

In situations like these, it's essential that we have experts to guide us, people like, Dr. Sara Qualls, Clinical Geropsychologist and Kraemer Family Professor of Aging Studies at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS).


, Dr. Qualls discusses:

  • Common role transitions in older families
  • Tips for balancing safety and autonomy
  • Strategies for having tough conversations with aging loved ones while preserving dignity and...
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The 12 Best Brain Health Recommendations To Reduce Risk for Dementia




Researchers have been investigating brain health recommendations that help to reduce our risk for cognitive decline in older adulthood. Many of the tips that I'm going to share today are really about how to live your healthiest life and achieve optimal physical health, brain health, and mental health in older adulthood. 


You may already be doing many of these tips. As you listen to this episode, take notes and make a list. Put a check mark by items that you are currently doing and a star next to the items that you need to be doing more of to achieve optimal health. At the end of the episode, give yourself some praise for what you're already doing, then choose one of the starred items to focus on to optimize your brain health and mental health. 


Let's dive in to the 12 evidence-based brain health recommendations to reduce your risk for cognitive decline and dementia and promote mental well being:


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The Positive Effects Of Nature On Brain Health and Mental Health






According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American spends only 7% of their entire life outdoors. Spending instead,  93% of their life indoors, including 87% of their life is inside buildings or homes, then another 6% of life in automobiles. 


This statistic is staggering, especially when considering that spending time outdoors and in nature is good for our brain.  Research has identified the benefits of walking in nature on memory (Berman, Jonides, & Kaplan, 2008), attention and focus (Hartig, Mang, & Evans, 1991), and problem-solving skills and creative abilities (Atchley, Strayer, & Atchley, 2012).


Similar studies have found that being in nature is good for our mental health in that it reduces stress (Gidlow, Randall, Gillman, Smith, & Jones, 2016) and uplifts our mood and promotes motivation (Berman et al., 2012)


Our guest today, Dr. Paula...

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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.