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Studying aging & stress

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 9:00 p.m.

Studying aging & stress

Thank you for publishing Rachel Weaver's news story “Western Pa. agencies take on all aspects of aging” (Nov. 15 and TribLIVE.com). The story highlights not only the many stressors that often accompany aging and caregiving, but also the importance of identifying sources of support.

We know stress can have strong negative effects on both physical and emotional health. If not addressed early, stress can become overwhelming and may lead to depression.

Practical supports like the aide and caregiver support services discussed in the story are vital. Personal and social supports are important as well.

I am a project coordinator for a set of studies that the University of Pittsburgh is conducting, called iMANAGE (Independence, Maintaining Activities No matter what AGE) studies, to learn more about effective ways for adults over age 60 to manage stress. Two groups of older adults that we are focusing on are those who are receiving in-home services such as housecleaning, personal care or home-delivered meals, and those who are experiencing some mild memory changes and have a friend or family member who can participate with them.

Our goal is to find ways to empower older adults to take control of stress so they can enjoy many more happy, healthy years of independent living. For more information about the iMANAGE studies, visit imanagestress.orgor call 412-246-6006.

Sarah Papperman

Park Place

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