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In this Issue
Tech & Tools
University of Utah Creates App for Alzheimer’s Care
Through the University of Utah’s Center for Alzheimer’s Care, Imaging and Research and a related startup company called Proactive Memory Services, a team is developing a tablet computer and smartphone application that will help Alzheimer’s patients and their families manage the disease. The application is still in its infancy, but the team just received a $125,000 Small Business Technology Transfer grant from the National Institutes of Health and is eligible for an additional $1 million from the federal government if it meets its goals under the initial funding.
Learn more »

App Helps Fight Cancer
With Nutrition

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has launched a free iPhone app that provides recipes and nutrition information which cancer patients can search in accordance with their needs. The recipes also are helpful to anyone who wants to enjoy a healthful diet. Learn more »
Conference Preview
American Society on Aging —
Aging in America Conference

Each year, Aging in America, the annual conference of the American Society on Aging, brings together relevant content, innovations, and best practices and develops thought leadership on the most critical issues in the field of aging. This year, aging services providers, policy experts, advocates, and consumers will gather in Chicago from March 12 to 16 to discuss important issues affecting older adults.

Social workers who specialize in aging as well as social work generalists should consider attending. Below are a few highlights of sessions that would be of interest to professionals working with older adults.

Read more »
Editor's E-Note
If you are 50 or older, you may have been encouraged by a New York Times article published in January with the headline, “Why Am I Getting Mellower?” The article reviewed recent discussions among psychology and counseling professors on what appears to be relaxation experienced by older adults despite daily “irritations.” In the article, Adam Davey, PhD, a Temple University professor in the College of Health Professions and Social Work, says, “There’s an idea that has gained support that we become better at emotion regulation as we get older.”

Granted, evidence of such mellowing is anecdotal and has not yet been sufficiently researched, but it is nonetheless heartening and supportive of the positive aging movement that has long eschewed depicting the elder years only as a collection of the “D words,” such as decline, debilitation, and depression.

This month’s E-News Exclusive discusses credible research on a shift in attitudes about aging as an experience to be feared and dreaded. Based on this limited study, Colin Depp, PhD, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the study’s coauthor says, “Even though older age was closely associated with worse physical and cognitive functioning, it was also related to better mental functioning.”

Researchers also have concluded that the message for clinicians is that an optimistic approach when working with older adults could go a long way in reducing societal ageism. Principal investigator Deli V. Jeste, MD, says, “There is potential for enhancing successful aging by fostering resilience and treating or preventing depression.” This is good news for older adults facing a future that traditionally has been characterized as a time of distress and demoralization.

We welcome your comments at SWTeditor@gvpub.com. Visit our website at www.SocialWorkToday.com, join our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter.

— Marianne Mallon, editor
E-News Exclusive
Paradox of Aging: The Older We Get, the Better We Feel

Presently, there are about 40 million Americans aged 65 and older, with the fastest-growing segment of the population older than 80. Traditionally, aging has been viewed as a period of progressive decline in physical, cognitive, and psychosocial functioning, and many Americans today view aging as the No. 1 public health problem.

But this negative view of aging contrasts with results of a comprehensive study of 1,006 older adults in San Diego by researchers from the University of California (UC), San Diego School of Medicine and Stanford University. Results of the Successful Aging Evaluation (SAGE) study, which comprised a 25-minute phone interview followed by a comprehensive mail-in survey, were published in the December 7, 2012, online issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Full Story »
Recently in Social Work Today
10 Dedicated and Deserving Social Workers
Enjoy our annual recognition of 10 outstanding social workers nominated by our readers—their colleagues, students, and coworkers. Read more »

Music and Memory — Elders With Dementia
Find Hope in a Song

An innovative project is using personalized digital music to help improve the quality of life for elders with dementia. Read more »

Aging in Place in the Village — Social Work Roles Shine
This aging-in-place model empowers elder care residents to be involved in decisions about their community, and social workers’ professional training supports and encourages this every step of the way. Read more »
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Gift Shop
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Other Social Work News
Physicians Encouraged to Screen for Domestic Violence
The Los Angeles Times reports on government panel recommendations that physicians screen for domestic violence and other forms of abuse.

Inaugural Address Stonewall Reference Needs Explanation
for Younger Generations

According to NPR, President Obama's historic gay rights inaugural reference to the Stonewall uprising may need clarification for youths who grew up in an age of greater LGBT acceptance.

Marine Corps Studies Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation
According to The Huffington Post, Marine Corps officials say they will build a curriculum integrating mindfulness techniques into a pilot program and measure positive results.

Federal Regulators Say Employers
Must Scale Back Social Media Restrictions

The New York Times reports federal regulators are moving toward greater protection of employees' social media comments.
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