News of the Week
Observations About Some Things That Caught My Eye
Older adults are closing the generation gap on technology usage
Bangor Daily News - The pandemic has only amplified this adoption of technology, with 61 percent of adults 65 and older owning a smartphone now, up from just 13% in 2012. In fact, three in four people age 50-plus say they rely on technology to stay connected, with those in their 50s (76 percent), 60s (79 percent), and 70s (72 percent) all exceeding 70 percent.
While older adults may not be using their smartphones as much as their younger counterparts, they are using their mobile devices more often for video chatting, online searches, entertainment, and social media. According to the AARP, seniors are helping to drive the growth in smart home technology as well.
Adults 70-plus have a particular fondness for tablets with more than half (53 percent) owning one — up from 40 percent in 2019 — with 69 percent of them using them daily. Devices are being used to attend a live, virtual event like an exercise class, and older adults are logging in more often to streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Disney+, with 58 percent saying they are streaming weekly.
Observation - one the things people get concerned about is whether streaming is here to stay in senior living. It is. And whether older adults know how to use technology. They do!
Caring for my aging mother has helped me live in the present
WAPO - Erika Shimahara says in real life, outside of yoga or meditation classes where we’re encouraged to be “in the moment,” few things get our undivided attention. Increasingly, we are emboldened to multitask. But this is not how her mother approaches life. To connect with her in the most meaningful way, “in the moment” is where I need to be, she says.
Observation - great article. Being in the moment is so hard yet so necessary not just in caregiving but in life. And jumping into the reality of the person you are caring for almost forces that in the moment behavior.
Dementia Is a Place Where My Mother Lives. It Is Not Who She Is
NYTimes - Another great guest post, this time by Suzanne Finnamore. Dementia is a land where my mother lives. It is not who she is. I think of it as an actual place, like the Acropolis or Yonkers. A place where beloved and ancient queens and kings retire, where linear time doesn’t exist and the rules of society are laid aside. Whenever I go to my parents’ double-wide in Hayward, Calif., I am really traveling to Dementia.
Living in Dementia isn’t the defining chapter of her life. There is dignity in Dementia if we say there is. There is wisdom and humor and radiance if only we can see it. I make the effort because my mother does and because it is what she deserves after a long life well lived, harming no one. I am astonished by her courage, even now. Especially now.
Observation - a must read.
Cognitive Impairment From Severe COVID-19 Equivalent to 20 Years of Aging – Losing 10 IQ Points
SciTechDaily - Cognitive impairment as a result of severe COVID-19 is similar to that sustained between 50 and 70 years of age and is the equivalent to losing 10 IQ points, says a team of scientists from the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London.
The findings, published recently in the journal eClinicalMedicine, emerge from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) COVID-19 BioResource. The results of the study suggest the effects are still detectable more than six months after the acute illness, and that any recovery is at best gradual.
Observation - scary stuff!
Poor vision in older adults often mistakenly conflated with mild cognitive impairment
News Medical Life Sciences - Millions of older people with poor vision are at risk of being misdiagnosed with mild cognitive impairments, according to a new study by the University of South Australia.
Cognitive tests that rely on vision-dependent tasks could be skewing results in up to a quarter of people aged over 50 who have undiagnosed visual problems such as cataracts or age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Observation - this is the reason general practice physicians need to be trained better to care for the aging. Likewise we need more specialists in this area and given that the aging sector isn’t as “sexy” as say being a surgeon, nonetheless, we need the most help here. Conversely, there is also an under-diagnosis of real dementia in people too that leads to medical errors and harm.
Definition of retirement is changing, but still few are prepared for it: study
McKnight’s - “Longevity and the New Journey of Retirement,” released Wednesday from Age Wave and Edward Jones, explores the changing definition of retirement, the four stages of the “new retirement,” and how they track within the Four Pillars of the New Retirement: health, family, purpose and finances.
Pre-retirees and retirees view their parents’ version of retirement as a time for rest and relaxation. Only 27% of today’s retirees view retirement similarly, and 55% define retirement as “a new chapter in life.”
Despite wanting to leave a legacy, few retirees have prepared to do so through wills, powers of attorney or healthcare directives, according to the research. AgeWave founder and CEO Ken Dychtwald said that part of the problem is, there isn’t a boot camp, summer course or training earlier in life to put retirement planning higher on the list of priorities.