Understanding Aging

By 2030, the number of Americans age 65 and over is projected to be about 71.5 million, of which nearly 10 million will be 85 and up. The good news is that many seniors report better health, greater wealth, and higher levels of education than seniors in past decades. Research on how to stay active and sharp and how to grow wiser is proliferating—it's up to us to act on the information now.

Recent Posts on Aging

Buyer Beware (4)

When making serious life decisions do not rely on the casual advice of friends. Check it out for yourselves and do so very carefully. You will have a long time to repent any mistakes.

New York Blood Center Leaves Chimps to Die of Starvation

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 29, 2015 in Animal Emotions
An institution that conducted experiments on approximately 200 chimpanzees and made a commitment to provide them with lifelong care has abandoned the ones who are still alive, leaving them to die of starvation. Dr. Brian Hare, an anthropologist and primatologist at Duke University notes, “Never, ever have I seen anything even remotely as disgusting as this.”

Treating Erectile Dysfunction Without Pills

By Lisa Thomas LMFT on May 28, 2015 in Save Your Sex Life
Treating Erectile Dysfunction Without Drugs

Alcohol Abuse and the Elderly: The Problem Worsens

It will come as no surprise that a considerable number of the older people in our nation drink. A drink after work or a couple of glasses of wine with dinner is a habit that can be picked up over a lifetime.

Vulnerability

Because we are limited, finite, mortal beings, vulnerability to trauma is a necessary and universal feature of our human condition. Suffering, injury, illness, death, heartbreak, loss--these are possibilities that define our existence and loom as constant threats. To be human is to be excruciatingly vulnerable.

How Long Will Your Dog Live?

New data shows that a dog's size has a greater influence on its life expectancy then we had previously believed.

Seven Lessons From the History of Adulthood

Lessons from the past that illuminate the present.

Aging-in-Place May Be a Fountain of Youth Secret

One of the benefits of aging-in-place is good neighborhood gossip -- a reason to stay alive and well is so that you don’t miss out on the next installment.

Mortality and the Luck of the Draw

By E E Smith on May 25, 2015 in Not Born Yesterday
A woman who reportedly went to extraordinary lengths to protect herself, and still died in a freak accident, reminded me of another who did much the same thing, and still met death in an unexpected way. The two had little in common except how far they went in order to stay alive, which––as it turned out––was not in the cards.

Do Older Married People Live More Happily Than Single Peers?

When marriage is enjoyed by two people later in life, it can be more rewarding and fulfilling than expected. By keeping in mind just a few tips, committed couples can improve their quality of life by exercising choices that are within their control.

What's Wrong With Immortality?

Plan to live forever - or die trying?

Decision-Making 101

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on May 21, 2015 in Memory Medic
Good decision making depends on selective attention skills. Seniors are better at this than young people, whose culture and schools are making matters worse.

Can't Sit Still? You Are Not Alone

A friend laughed with relief when I told her how noisy my mind is when I step outside intending to sit and listen to birdsong. She thought she was the only one who could barely quiet her mind enough to sit still. I find that the fresh air, earth aromas, and the bird chorus are there for a moment or two and then all that I am trying to savor drops away.

Buyer Beware, Part 3

This is the story of a trusting senior couple who made a serious life decision on the basis of a friend's advice. We had not realized that retirement homes are prone to make big promises and deliver shoddy services—at a high cost.

Mental Fitness for Seniors

Baby boomers are one of the largest aging cohorts ever. Given that more seniors than ever will be driving, traveling, and working, there is an urgency to staying mentally fit.

Are You in Cognitive Decline?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on May 19, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
I speak to a lot of corporate audiences. Regardless of the topic I am speaking about, I get a lot of general psychology questions from the crowd. The most popular question is about cognitive performance and aging. People in their 50s and 60s begin to worry that they are not going to be able to keep up mentally with their younger colleagues.

Beliefs About Brain Training: Why They Could Be Hurting Us

Can brain training help or hurt? It may depend on your attitude about what you expect to get out of it.

Very Small Amounts of Exercise Can Reap Huge Benefits

If you are someone who hates to exercise, I have good news. Two different studies published in May 2015 report that small amounts of "light-intensity" physical activity can dramatically improve your health and longevity.

World War II Memories

A I was to young to remember much about it. But I've been so riveted to other people's dramatizations of the war in books, films or on the screen, that the war has felt like part of my psychic reality. You could say I've been just one step shy of suffering a Brian Williams type 'embellishment syndrome.'

Death With Dementia

By Robin Marantz Henig on May 15, 2015 in Cusp
Sandy Bem needed to choose a day to die, and it had to be just right. Too soon, and it might be a day when she still felt basically fine, still essentially herself even as her Alzheimer's disease implacably ate away at her intellect. Too late, and she might no longer have the resolve, or the understanding, or even the physical dexterity to end her life on her own.

Longevity Cookbook is Your Chance to Defeat Aging

One dashing 29-year-old scientist is helping to bring longevity research into people's houses—specifically into their kitchens. Maria Konovalenko is one of the lead organizers and authors of the Longevity Cookbook, full of recipes and ideas that will help you live far longer.

Compassion: Living, Loving, and Dying

Compassion, which we so often show towards strangers, can sometimes take a back seat with those we love. Yet in society today, we need compassion, for those in our homes, in nursing facilities, and in hospitals.

Buyer Beware Part 2

How two intelligent senior professionals were taken for a very expensive ride

Lessons in Speaking From The Heart

By Greg O'Brien on May 12, 2015 in On Pluto
Laughter can be a powerful antidote to dementia—the pain, conflict, and stress of it. A good laugh, doctors say, reduces tension and can leave muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes. Laughter boosts the immune system, decreases stress hormones, and triggers the release of endorphins—the natural drug of choice.

Hawaiian Luaus, Leis and... End-of-Life Care?

Can one of the smallest states show the rest of us how to transform health care?

Does Video Game-Playing Sharpen Mental Skills and Speed?

By David Myers on May 08, 2015 in Talk Psych
Although new research suggests that video-game playing and "brain training" have limited cognitive benefits, some simple interventions can increase academic achievement.

Buyer Beware

This is the story of how two healthy professionals in their senior years entered a retirement home - aka a "caring community" - and met with one bizarre surprise after another. We were actually in a poorly run nursing home, where the promises that had been made to us bore no resemblance to the services actually offered. (part of a series)

Mother's Day: Role Reversal

By Katherine Bouton on May 08, 2015 in What I Hear
My aging mother could hear, but I couldn't. My hearing and her dementia still created a nearly unbridgeable gap. The only way across it was with smiles and hugs and just being there — for her and for me.

Mother's Day and Alzheimer's Disease

How to celebrate Mother's Day with someone who has Alzheimer's disease

How Many People Take Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines can be helpful in treating anxiety and insomnia. These medications are used more often by elderly adults than by younger people even though there are increased safety concerns with use by older individuals.