As Families Change, Korea’s Elderly Are Turning to SuicideBy Choe Sang-Hun, The New York Times, February 16, 2013
“The woman’s death is part of one of South Korea’s grimmest statistics: the number of people 65 and older committing suicide, which has nearly quadrupled in recent years, making the country’s rate of such deaths among the highest in the developed world. The epidemic is the counterpoint to the nation’s runaway economic success, which has worn away at the Confucian social contract that formed the bedrock of Korean culture for centuries” – Read full article Here
From Ripples, the e-newsletter of the Geriatric Social Work Initiative – www.gswi.org
Positive Thinking on Aging Helps Older Adults Heal
A growing body of evidence suggests that positive thinking does correlate with less illness and longer lives. And, if you’re already older, having a positive outlook appears to be especially important. A new study has found that older people who feel good about aging are more likely than those who hold negative stereotypes to recover after suffering from disability. To learn more about the study click here.
Perceptions of Aging across 26 Cultures
Perceptions of aging influence societal behaviors and expectations towards older people as well as older adults’ well-being and coping with the aging process. The majority of studies in this field have focused on individual differences in perceptions of aging within (mostly Western) cultures, but there is growing evidence that views of aging may differ across cultures as well. This particular study expands on previous research by comparing multiple aspects of aging perceptions across 26 cultures. To read the abstract and learn more about the study, click here.
Understanding the Concept of “Successful Aging”
While the term “successful aging” may be controversial, the concept of identifying ways to promote positive aging experiences is an important one. This Wall Street Journal article discusses the science and secrets behind the habits that can help older adults fully enjoy the second half of their lives both physically and mentally.
New poll finds serious shortfalls in mental health care for older adults
A new poll from the John A. Hartford Foundation (“Silver and Blue: The Unfinished Business of Mental Health Care for Older Adults”) examines attitudes, awareness and experiences of care among seniors. The bad news: many patients are not receiving important services known to improve outcomes, such as timely follow-up (46%), and many don’t know the serious health consequences of depression, such as increasing the risk of dementia (78%). More positively, a large majority (77%) say they would feel comfortable raising the subject with their provider. Read more at the Health AGEnda blog.
How in the World Will We Care for All the Elderly?By Judith Graham, The New York Times
All over the world, people are living longer than ever before and posing caregiving challenges that span the globe.
We think of this phenomenon as particularly true of wealthy “first world” countries like the United States. But it’s not.
Geriatric Emergency Units Opening at U.S. Hospitals
The New York Times
“It’s beautiful,” she said. “Everything here is wonderful.”
Yet this was an emergency room, one specifically designed for the elderly, part of a growing trend of hospitals’ trying to cater to the medical needs and sensibilities of aging baby boomers and their parents. Mount Sinai opened its geriatric emergency department, or geri-ed, two months ago, modeling it in part after one at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, N.J., which opened in 2009.
Read Full Article Here
THE VANISHING MIND
When Illness Makes a Spouse a Stranger
The New York Times
He threw away tax documents, got a ticket for trying to pass an ambulance and bought stock in companies that were obviously in trouble. Once a good cook, he burned every pot in the house. He became withdrawn and silent, and no longer spoke to his wife over dinner. That same failure to communicate got him fired from his job at a consulting firm.
By 2006, Michael French — a smart, good-natured, hardworking man — had become someone his wife, Ruth, felt she hardly knew. Infuriated, she considered divorce.
But in 2007, she found out what was wrong.
“I cried,” Mrs. French said. “I can’t tell you how much I cried, and how much I apologized to him for every perceived wrong or misunderstanding.”
A Life Worth Ending
The era of medical miracles has created a new phase of aging, as far from living as it is from dying.
New York Magazine
By promoting longevity and technologically inhibiting death, we have created a new biological status held by an ever-growing part of the nation, a no-exit state that persists longer and longer, one that is nearly as remote from life as death, but which, unlike death, requires vast service, indentured servitude really, and resources.
Read Full Article Here
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