My series at TheHighCalling.org on Aging Well with Dr. Dan Blazer included a wealth of information on caring for ourselves and our loved ones in the later years of life.
In article one, we learned that Dr. Blazer’s two years as a medical missionary in Africa shaped his decision to become a geriatric psychiatrist. He shared with us lessons he learned there that model how to treat the elderly.
In article two, we learned that the perception of old age as a depressing season of life is not confirmed by scientific research, but rather only 15 percent of older adults exhibit depressive symptoms. He shared with us foundations for good geriatric mental health.
In article three, we considered the role of perception in geriatric health. Dr. Blazer said the perception of poor health in otherwise healthy senior citizens is associated with depression and other predictors of mortality, while the perception of good health generally leads to better outcomes.
In article four, we looked at geriatric depression, learned how to recognize the symptoms, examined its social and biological causes, and considered treatment options.
In article five, we discussed the role of social supports in geriatric health and learned that listening to elderly loved ones’ stories not only enriches our lives, but helps them make sense of theirs.
In article six, Dr. Blazer shared his thoughts on a holistic approach to mental health and I shared a family story that demonstrates its importance.