Aging in Arkansas

  • Hosted by Rosalie Otters

Aging in Arkansas is written, produced and hosted by Rosalie Otters, Associate Professor in the UA Little Rock School of Social Work. Dr. Otters is specifically interested in aging and change.

Aging In Arkansas: A Time To Remember

Aug 4, 2020

It seems like years since covid turned our lives upside down. For those older this has been a particularly worrisome change. However, this could be a time to remember, especially pleasant past life events.

According to the American Psychological Association, reminiscence with older adults can be therapeutic. Older adults may be especially good at remembering family history: when….where…importance to family. Pictures, letters, videos. Connecting past to present, helpful for all family members, giving the older adult an opportunity to offer a unique insight.

By 2050, 95,000 older adults, especially those aged 50 to 65, are expected to be living without stable housing, 2 times the present rate.

Those chronically homeless are aging and there are more first time older homeless. These new older homeless have aged at a time of stagnate wages, fewer fixed pension plans as well as higher rents with fewer housing choices.

Older adults who lost jobs in the recession have also had a harder time than those younger. Those on fixed incomes have had the hardest time.

Homeless adults 50 and over:

The age beginning older adulthood is undergoing change. While many researchers continue to make 65 as the entry point, today there is no set age:

• The Older Worker Benefit Designation Act (1990) begins older adulthood at age 40.

• AARP invites those at 50 to join.

• Senior discounts vary from 50 on up.

• Senior centers may require entry for those 50+.

• 62 is required for partial Social Security.

• Medicare requires the recipient to be 65.

• Employers either have raised age limits or omitted them altogether.

Aging In Arkansas: Aging And Homelessness

Mar 8, 2019

About a million and half Americans are homeless yearly, at imminent risk or lacking a stable and adequate nighttime residence.

The homeless population is aging faster than the rest of Americans. A third of those homeless are 50 years or older, and could be AARP members if they had stable addresses.

Aging In Arkansas: Aging And Disabilities

Mar 8, 2019

By 2030, twenty percent of Americans will be 65 or older. Because of better medical interventions and living standards those over 85 are the fastest growing group of older adults.

As we live longer we are also living with limitations. Often we only see disabilities as we age. Stereotypes abound about the aging individual, some of which are internalized. The older adult with visible limitations may become an object of pity. As one former student several years ago proclaimed on visiting a homebound older adult: “I wanted to make her day more pleasant, though it was a bit useless.”

Aging In Arkansas: Cognitive Function And Aging

Mar 8, 2019

Adults 65 and over are expected to more than double by 2050. Therefore, we need to understand the cognitive changes of aging, even normal aging, where there may be changes not anticipated.

In normal aging there are declines in some cognitive abilities as speed, memory, language and decision making. These changes are small and do not result in impairment but should be considered for safety, especially driving safety, as well as everyday function.

Seniors Fastest Growing Population of Gamblers

Nov 1, 2016

Are you a social gambler or a gambler addict? Almost half of the 101 million visitors to American casinos in 2014 were age 50 or more.

Gambling is a $66 billion dollar business. One in 11 of those age 65+ have bet more than they could afford to lose the previous year.

1,400 casinos are now operating in 40 states, up from only 2 states 40 years ago.

Several factors contribute to becoming a gambling addict as you age:

1. Loneliness, social isolation, and loss of significant others.

2. Cognitive decline

For several reasons, many older alcoholics are never diagnosed and offered treatment for their dependency.

Substance Abuse And Older Adults

Feb 13, 2015

She may be the grandmother next door or your own relative. How often do we think of those 70 or 80, as having a problem with substance abuse? The rate of older adults abusing alcohol is expected to more than double by 2020.

Alcohol is often the drug of choice for older adults, as we get older, our bodies take longer to process alcohol and drugs. What we could handle at 30 is not as easily handled at 70. Mixing alcohol and medications may only make things worse. Older adults are likely to be more isolated from others, hiding what may be a substance abuse problem.

Is It Dementia Or Depression?

Feb 13, 2015

When you realize you are forgetting or misspelling a word, you may start to worry. Dementia is often confused with normal mistakes or depression and is not a part of normal aging.

Those who are depressed may have trouble concentrating, may be very negative, and overstate their problems. They may have memory lapses yet know who and where they are, and what they’re doing. Those who are depressed know what things are called and how to talk about them.

Suicide Warning Signs And Baby Boomers

Feb 13, 2015

By the end of 2015 baby boomers will reach ages 51 to 69. It is expected that their higher than average rate of suicides will continue as they age.

Suicide among older adults is not often addressed. There is a stigma -- many of us have trouble thinking that older relatives or neighbors have had such thoughts.

While adults, 65 and over, are 13% of Americans, they are over 18% of all suicides. Untreated depression is the most common cause for older adult suicide. Older men are more likely to successfully carry out suicides. In Arkansas, firearms are most often used.

Depression In Older Adults

Feb 13, 2015

Contrary to many birthday card messages, depression is not a normal part of getting older-- but older adults are at an increased risk. When someone is depressed they have felt sad or anxious for some time and have had difficulty getting past such feelings in everyday life. Older adults are much more likely to have chronic health problems.

What Does Medicare Cover?

Dec 22, 2014

The Medicare entitlement program began in 1965 after Congress passed legislation for this social insurance program. Medicare is earmarked for those aged 65 and over who have paid into Medicare and are American citizens living in the United States. Medicare was later expanded to include those with disabilities and certain diseases.

Medicare has 4 parts:

Happy 65th Birthday Gift: Medicare Application!

Dec 15, 2014

To all baby boomers turning 65: Happy Birthday! Now is the time to sign up for Medicare, the social insurance program for those aged 65 and over who have paid into Medicare and are American citizens living in the United States.

You must apply for Medicare during the 7-month period that begins 3 months before you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65.

Baby Boomers And The Older Worker

Dec 8, 2014

Older baby boomers may access Social Security as soon as age 62 when they can receive partial Social Security, 75% of what they would get if they waited until full Social Security – accessed at ages 65 to 67, depending on birth year. Older baby boomers are encouraged to continue working to their full Social Security entitlement age if they want higher Social Security benefits.

Increasing Your Retirement Finances

Dec 1, 2014

As baby boomers plan for retirement, they often want to know how to increase their finances. If you wait past your full Social Security retirement age, 66 to 67 for baby boomers, you can get 8% more for each additional year up to age 70. However, you will have lost some payments and therefore must live longer to get ahead of those who took the earlier, decreased payments.

Surveying The Landscape of Retirement

Oct 22, 2014

In the recent recession, many older baby boomers who lost their jobs have had more difficulty finding another job, especially a job at the same pay. Some older baby boomers have stopped seeking work and have taken early retirement, while others have found work, often at reduced pay.

Older baby boomers may access Social Security as soon as 62, the earliest age to apply. At 62 baby boomers can get partial Social Security, but only 75% of what they would get if they waited until full Social Security – which comes at 65 to 67, depending on birth year.

Who Gets Social Security Disability?

Oct 15, 2014

Some Social Security benefits go to surviving spouses and children, but most go to older adults. The bulk of Social Security disability claimants are 50 years old and over.

When Should I Start Taking Social Security?

Oct 8, 2014

There are some things to consider before applying for Social Security. The earliest age you can apply, unless you have a long-term disability, is 62. At that time you can receive 75% of what you would have received if you had waited for full Social Security, accessed at 65 to 67, depending on your birth year.

Some Basic Facts About Social Security

Oct 1, 2014

The youngest baby boomers, born in 1964, turn 50 this year. Boomers of all ages often want to know how to maximize their financial future.

Moving toward retirement means knowing when to apply for Social Security. You can get partial Social Security for retirement as early as 62, but not as much as if you waited until your mid-60s for full Social Security.

The age to apply depends on your birth year. For those born between 1943 and 1959, you must be at least 66. If you were born in 1960 or later, you must be 67 to receive full Social Security benefits.