Two months ago, I kneeled next to Sarah – an avid drinker of chocolate milk, ex-journalist, and new hospice resident – in a nursing homeroom. We had a knack for discussing emotions, and that day, our conversation reached the idea of suffering. Her pain-stricken voice shared, “Did you know that we notice? When someone’s health turns for the worst, we notice. There is a special whispering that flutters throughout the building. ...

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Early data from China and Italy shows that the outbreak disproportionately kills older adults. The rapid spread of these infections in the United States has triggered informal and formal efforts to protect frail and vulnerable populations like those in nursing homes. Informal recommendations like social distancing have greatly changed the day-to-day lives of most Americans but have played a lesser role for those living in long-term care. ...

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Literature surrounding the effects of social isolation and loneliness for older adults is no longer lacking. Studies and articles outlining the dreadful consequences of these epidemics have even pierced large media outlets like Time magazine, where they emphasize how one in three older adults are lonely. While any attention brought to the fact that the age group containing people age of 85 and up is ...

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Cognitive decline in older adults has been accepted as a normal part of aging. Recall, episodic memories, processing speed, and divided attention are all expected to decrease with time, but the implications of this decay are rarely discussed. Elderly scholars, or individuals who have sought to learn about the world or facets of the world through books, articles or newspapers, often are devastated by this cognitive decay. But, what if ...

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