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Driving safety for older adults: Watch for changes, make adjustments

Driving a car means maintaining independence for many older adults — driving allows you to shop, see friends and family, keep up with medical appointments, and avoid social isolation. But sometimes staying safe behind the wheel as you age can be a challenge.

Running for president — is age an issue?

 

The presidential contest is fully underway, and many of the candidates fit the definition of “older adults,” those age 65+ years.  In the past I’ve been queried about candidates for high office (such as former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien) who are of pensionable age.  Usually the concerns of the journalist are not that the candidate might die in office, but rather that they may become demented and whether we should have either an age limit on candidates or some form of fitness testing.

Will driver-assistance technology help prevent accidents?

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are included in many new vehicles.  They feature such functions as blind-spot detection (sadly, usually only available with a high-end package), forward-collision warning and braking, lane-keeping warning and steering guidance, adaptive cruise control and the now required (in all new 2018 vehicles) backup camera.

The scourge of loneliness and social isolation

 We have so many ways to communicate with each other today that didn’t exist 50 years ago, such as through the Internet and with mobile phones, yet we report greater social isolation and loneliness than ever before.  Research studies suggest that about a quarter of the U.S.

Too Much Medical Jargon? Assessing and Bridging the Terminology Gap between Health Consumers and Medical Professionals

Even though the United States spends more on health care per capita than most other countries, life expectancy is lower than in many other developed countries and varies geographically. There is a huge need to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes, while reducing healthcare costs. Health information technology is the key to make this happen.

 

Are your grandparents getting tipsy at the holiday party?

“As baby boomers have begun trickling into later life, the stereotype of Grandma sipping hot cocoa by the fire has slowly been replaced with Grandma sipping a glass of wine with her friends and family,” write ISL Faculty Affiliate Dawn Carr and Amy Burdette, both of FSU’s Department of Sociology.

Learning to read and write again after stroke

After experiencing a stroke on the left side of the brain, many people will acquire aphasia. Aphasia is a language disorder that affects a person’s ability to talk, understand others, read, and write. It does not, however, affect a person’s intelligence. There are approximately 2 million Americans currently living with aphasia in the United States.

Using Artificial Intelligence to help older adults and others

The progress of technology in leaps and bounds has resulted in the generation of an enormous amount of digital data in the modern era. Against this backdrop, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a useful mechanism to automatically organize and categorize data and to leverage useful patterns in the data to make intelligent predictions for the future from past observations.

WIDOWHOOD

When I was in college, my mother died during my junior year following a two-year struggle with cancer. As difficult as it was for me to lose her, my dad was in his early 50s and had to face changes in his life that were well beyond my comprehension as a 21-year-old. My mom and dad had been married 31 years when my mom died, and they had been together since the eighth grade. It’s hard to believe anyone could recover from something like that. And the truth is, not everyone fully adjusts to widowhood. So, why do some people do better than others?

FSU, an Age-Friendly University

Florida State University was recently awarded the designation of being an Age-Friendly University. The age-friendly university initiative is an international effort, started in Ireland by Dublin City University, and it fits nicely with initiatives such as WHO’s age-friendly city and community effort, being spearheaded locally by Sheila Salyer and the Tallahassee Senior Center. These initiatives represent grassroots efforts to address the challenges of an aging society.