12/28/2012 – United States Lags in Alzheimer’s Support

This month, the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging released a report examining how five nations — the United States, Australia, France, Japan and Britain — are responding to growing numbers of older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Every country has a strategy, but some are much further ahead than others. Notably, France began addressing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in 2001 and is in the midst of carrying out its third national plan.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

12/24/2012 – Fudging the Facts, for Peace of Mind

A large national study showed an increased incidence of general anxiety disorder beginning after age 55, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness notes that, like depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder tends to worsen in old age. Factors contributing to the prevalence and severity of anxiety disorders in the elderly include a host of concomitant medical problems that interact with anxiety in a complicated way.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

12/19/2012 – Older People Become What They Think, Study Shows

When stereotypes are negative — when seniors are convinced becoming old means becoming useless, helpless or devalued — they are less likely to seek preventive medical care and die earlier, and more likely to suffer memory loss and poor physical functioning, a growing body of research shows.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

12/17/2012 – In the Middle: Why Elderly Couples Fight

George and Gracie (let’s call them that because using their real names would make them even unhappier than they already appear to be) are in their 80s and have been married for more than 65 years. Until recently they seemed to ride the waves that are inevitable in any marriage that spans nearly seven decades; through good and bad, they were partners and best friends.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

12/12/2012 – Old Age and Creativity in Art and Science

One of the most widespread and persistent myths about creativity is that it is the domain of the young. So for example in surveying popular attitudes toward aging, the psychologist Dean Simonton observed that “Most conspicuous is the notion that creativity is the prerogative of youth, that aging is synonymous with a decrement in the capacity for generating and accepting innovations.”

Read the full article at Huffington Post.

12/12/2012 – Preventing a tragedy for seniors at the wheel

“When my dad’s driving deteriorated, I called the California Department of Motor Vehicles and asked about the procedure for having his license revoked. I could fill out a form, I was told, and my dad would be called in to have his driving ability reevaluated.”

Read the full article at The Los Angeles Times.

12/5/2012 – For the Old, Less Sense of Whom to Trust

There’s a reason so many older people fall for financial scams, new research suggests. They don’t respond as readily to visual cues that suggest a person might be untrustworthy, and their brains don’t send out as many warning signals that ignite a danger ahead gut response.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

11/29/2012 – Why Can’t I Hear as Well as Before?

While hearing loss can have a variety of causes, including infection and some medications, presbycusis is the term for the gradual decline in ear function that occurs as people age. “The sensory nerve endings in the organ of hearing become structurally damaged,” said Dr. Gordon B. Hughes, program director of clinical trials for the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. “There are other changes in chemistry and such which take place as well, but the structural damage is what causes the permanent hearing loss.”

Most often the problem is the loss of sensory receptors in the inner ear known as hair cells, experts say. Heart disease, high blood pressure and vascular conditions caused by problems like diabetes can also play a role by reducing the blood supply to the ear.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

11/26/2012 – Alzheimer's May Progress Differently in Women, Men

Alzheimer’s disease may look and act differently in men and women, new research suggests.

An emerging field known as gender-specific medicine has shown pronounced differences among the sexes in terms of heart disease and other conditions. These latest findings — if confirmed by further research — may have significant implications for diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s among the sexes.

Read the full article at US News & World Report.

11/21/2012 – Positive Outlook Helps Seniors Heal

Older patients with positive attitudes on aging may be more likely to fully recover from severe disability compared with those who can’t see the bright side of life, a new study found.

A positive stereotype about aging was associated with a 44 percent greater likelihood of recovery from severe disability versus negative stereotypes, according to study author Becca Levy from the Yale School of Public Health and colleagues.

Read the full article at ABC News.