“Lifetime Experiences Help Older Adults Build Resilience to Pandemic Trauma” – Kaiser Health Foundation
(KHN illustration; Getty Images)
by Judith Graham
“Older adults are especially vulnerable physically during the coronavirus pandemic. But they’re also notably resilient psychologically, calling upon a lifetime of experience and perspective to help them through difficult times.
“New research calls attention to this little-remarked-upon resilience as well as significant challenges for older adults as the pandemic stretches on. It shows that many seniors have changed behaviors — reaching out to family and friends, pursuing hobbies, exercising, participating in faith communities — as they strive to stay safe from the coronavirus.
“’There are some older adults who are doing quite well during the pandemic and have actually expanded their social networks and activities,’ said Brian Carpenter, a professor of psychological and brain sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. ‘But you don’t hear about them because the pandemic narrative reinforces stereotypes of older adults as frail, disabled and dependent.'”
OPINION COLUMN: “There’s no place like home for older and high-risk people to get Covid-19 vaccines” – STATNews
by Thomas Lally and Marc Rothman
“Staying at home has never been so vital for older Americans and those with compromised health. After nine months of the coronavirus pandemic, sheltering in place is still the most effective protection against Covid-19 for many older adults, and likely will be until an effective vaccine helps stop the pandemic.
“The virus has taken an enormous toll on our nation’s older adults. They account for 16% of the U.S. population but 80% of Covid-19 deaths, somewhat higher than their share of deaths from all causes over the same period (75%).
“Covid-19 has crystallized for many the challenges that homebound older adults face when it comes to access to care. At least 2 million people ages 65 and older are permanently homebound and millions more cannot easily get to a doctor’s office. While telemedicine has exploded and living room couches have become the new exam table, virtual medicine cannot deliver vaccines — a challenge that we hope will need solving sooner rather than later.”
“Pandemic depression is about to collide with seasonal depression. Make a plan, experts say.” – The Washington Post
“Lindsey Hornickel, a 25-year-old in Louisville, felt fine at the beginning of the pandemic. Although she has long experienced depression, Hornickel says, her mental state didn’t worsen immediately. In fact, she began overcompensating, taking on more work and pushing worries out of her mind.
“’I went through a depressive swing. It was unbearable,’ she says. Eventually, Hornickel told her roommate she wanted to die.
“Since then, Hornickel has been in a partial hospitalization program to treat suicidal ideation, depression and bipolar disorder, and she recognizes that her initial reaction to quarantine was a manic episode. Although she’s doing a lot better, there’s a nagging worry: wintertime.”
by Bob Tedeschi
“OAKLAND, Calif. — The elderly man winced as two friends lifted him from his car, and he walked, as if on broken glass, along the curb of a dead end street in an East Oakland neighborhood. It took him several minutes to walk 15 yards, and when he sat again he needed still more time to regain his breath.
“His eyes were pressed shut, and as he waited for the pain and breathlessness to pass, his fingertips worked the skin of one knotted, ebony hand. Finally he lifted his head and, with the hint of a smile, said his name was Dwane Allen Foreman. ‘I’ve got a long story,’ he said.
“The short version is that Foreman is 68 and homeless, and has HIV, hepatitis C, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and, more recently, lung cancer, and he worries he will die on the street. If he does, he will be one of hundreds in the United States who do so every year, dying in the kind of squalor and emotional and physical suffering that is more commonly the hallmark of war zones and developing nations.
“Such cases are becoming more common, researchers said, as the homeless population ages. In the early 1990s, 11 percent of homeless adults were over 50. Now more than half are 50 or older.”
Keep reading this article at STATNews, click here.
Ronni Bennet, the person behind the Website, Time Goes By: What it’s really like to grow old, keeps finding internet gems. This one is a real grabber; it’ll bring a tear to your eyes. And hope to your heart.
“Survey shows staying socially connected is a top need for aging adults during COVID-19” – National Council on Aging
“Across the nation, community-based organizations that provide vital services to enable older adults to stay in their own homes are struggling to continue supporting their clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. In April and July 2020, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) surveyed 890+ organizations to understand this impact. As part of the nation’s aging network, these organizations provide services such as meals, senior centers, healthy aging programs, benefits enrollment, caregiver support, transportation, and more.”
In April of this year, the PA Council on Aging Released Findings from Survey of Older Adults During Pandemic.
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This webinar is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging
by Chrissy Sexton
“A growing collection of studies has linked sedentary behavior to chronic health issues and accelerated signs of aging, such as cognitive decline. But a new study from Colorado State University shows that not all sedentary behavior is bad for the brain, especially when it is balanced by the right amount of physical activity.
“The research, led by Professor Aga Burzynska in the CSU Department of Human Development and Family Studies, was designed to examine the association between physical activity and cognitive performance. The study was focused on 228 healthy older adults between the ages of 60 and 80.
“As expected, participants who engaged in more moderate-to-vigorous activity had better speed, memory, and reasoning skills. On the other hand, the data also showed that adults who engaged in more sedentary behavior performed better on vocabulary and reading tasks.
“The findings may come as a relief to people who have sedentary jobs or spend a significant amount of time sitting. Professor Burzynska said that while the association between increased physical activity and improved cardiovascular and metabolic health is well documented, the link between different intensities of daily physical activity and cognitive health is less understood, particularly in older adults.”
Read this article in its entirety at Earth.com.