Thursday, March 17, 2011

Profile of Older Americans: 2010

This annual summary of the latest statistics on the older population covers 15 topical areas including population, income and poverty, living arrangements, education, and health. A description of the highlights of this document can be found below.

The Profile has proven to be a very useful statistical summary in a user friendly format. It is a web based publication and will be posted shortly on the AoA web site.

Highlights - Profile of Older Americans: 2010
  • The older population (65+) numbered 39.6 million in 2009, an increase of 4.3 million or 12.5% since 1999.
  • The number of Americans aged 45-64-- who will reach 65 over the next two decades-- increased by 26% during this decade.
  • Over one in every eight, or 12.9%, of the population is an older American.
  • Persons reaching age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 18.6 years (19.9 years for females and 17.2 years for males).
  • Older women outnumber older men at 22.7 million older women to 16.8 million older men.
  • In 2009, 19.9% of persons 65+ were minorities--8.3% were African-Americans.** Persons of Hispanic origin (who may be of any race) represented 7.0% of the older population. About 3.4% were Asian or Pacific Islander,** and less than 1% were American Indian or Native Alaskan.** In addition, 0.6% of persons 65+ identified themselves as being of two or more races.
  • Older men were much more likely to be married than older women--72% of men vs. 42% of women (Figure 2). 42% older women in 2009 were widows.
  • About 30% (11.3 million) of noninstitutionalized older persons live alone (8.3 million women, 3.0 million men).
  • Half of older women (49%) age 75+ live alone.
  • About 475,000 grandparents aged 65 or more had the primary responsibility for their grandchildren who lived with them.
  • The population 65 and over will increase from 35 million in 2000 to 40 million in 2010 (a 15% increase) and then to 55 million in 2020 (a 36% increase for that decade).
  • The 85+ population is projected to increase from 4.2 million in 2000 to 5.7 million in 2010 (a 36% increase) and then to 6.6 million in 2020 (a 15% increase for that decade).
  • Minority populations are projected to increase from 5.7 million in 2000 (16.3% of the elderly population) to 8.0 million in 2010 (20.1% of the elderly) and then to 12.9 million in 2020 (23.6% of the elderly).
  • The median income of older persons in 2009 was $25,877 for males and $15,282 for females. Median money income (after adjusting for inflation) of all households headed by older people rose 5.8% (statistically significant) from 2008 to 2009. Households containing families headed by persons 65+ reported a median income in 2009 of $43,702.
  • The major sources of income as reported by older persons in 2008 were Social Security (reported by 87% of older persons), income from assets (reported by 54%), private pensions (reported by 28%), government employee pensions (reported by 14%), and earnings (reported by 25%).
  • Social Security constituted 90% or more of the income received by 34% of beneficiaries in 2008 (21% of married couples and 43% of non-married beneficiaries).
  • Almost 3.4 million elderly persons (8.9%) were below the poverty level in 2009. This poverty rate is statistically different from the poverty rate in 2008 (9.7%).
  • About 11% (3.7 million) of older Medicare enrollees received personal care from a paid or unpaid source in 1999.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Managing Stress During Disaster

The recent media coverage about the earthquake in Japan and subsequent tsunami has generated some anxiety. For people with friends and family living in regions affected by earthquakes, watching news coverage of the earthquake’s devastation can be very distressing, particularly if there is no news on their safety and well-being. Even for those without personal connections to the country, the news coverage can be overwhelming. The APA Help Center has some excellent suggestions about managing stress during these times, including (1) turn off the TV, (2) control what you can, and (3) engage in health behaviors. For more information and details about coping, please visit the "Managing Your Distress About the Earthquake from Afar" brochure website.

Friday, March 11, 2011

New Government Website Aims to Stop Bullying in America

The Government website,, is managed by the US Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the US Department of Education and the US Department of Justice. It was showcased today, March 11, 2011 at the Conference on Bullying Prevention at the White House.

The website is geared towards both parents and children. Resources such as "Recognizing the Warning Signs" and "How Do I Get Help?" are prominently featured on the website. Information regarding cyberbullying, state policies and laws, and violence prevention program directories are also available on the website.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

OPA Legislative Day Health Fair

OPA is hosting a health fair at the Statehouse in Columbus on May 25th in conjunction with their annual Legislative Day. Our hope is to educate legislators and state workers about the value of psychology. We will have six tables, including health psychology, childhood obesity, SMI, stress management, issues affecting veterans and the military, and addressing minority healthcare disparities.

We are looking for 12 psychologist volunteers. The time commitment is 8-1 PM or 4 PM if you choose to stay and meet with your individual state representatives. We will provide an orientation by phone conference and lots of materials to help you talk about the wonderful things psychology can do for the public. Please consider donating your time for this important event! Contact me at if you are interested.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Map of Well-Being

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® is the first-ever daily assessment of U.S. residents' health and well-being. By interviewing at least 1,000 U.S. adults every day, the Well-Being Index provides real-time measurement and insights needed to improve health, increase productivity, and lower healthcare costs. The NY Times recently published an article entitled "The Happiest Man in America" and an accompanying map of the nation's well-being according to 20 indexes and sorted by Congressional District. Ohio appears to overall have lower rates of well-being than other states. For more information about Health and Well-Being from the American Psychological Association, please visit this link.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ohio Psychologist Blogger on Psychology Today

Check out The Older Dad Blog on Psychology Today, written by Ohio Psychologist Kevin Arnold, Ph.D., ABPP! Dr Arnold is the director of the Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy in Columbus, Ohio, and a licensed psychologist. Kevin is a clinical faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at Ohio State University, as well as serving a number of leadership roles at the state and national level in cognitive-behavioral therapy and professional psychology. He will be a guest blogger for us in the near future, stay tuned!

Mind Over Morphine

Cheer up: Negative view of pain treatment actually affects outcome, researchers find.

Whether you perceive the glass as half-full or half-empty could impact the way you react to pain and other medical treatments, according to a new study into the effects of negative thinking.

In the most sophisticated study on the subject to date, British and German researchers from Oxford University and University Medical Center in Hamburg subjected 22 healthy volunteers to heat pain, and then treated that pain with a fast-metabolizing, morphine-based painkiller, all the while scanning the volunteers' brains as they described their levels of pain.

The researchers discovered that by lying to the volunteers--for example, telling them that the painkiller was about to wear off and that they should expect pain to increase, even though the painkiller never actually stopped working--they could affect their perceived level of pain, according to the Associated Press. The brain scans confirmed increased activity in certain pain- and stress-related areas of the brain during these lies, suggesting that a patient's outlook has actual therapy-negating effects.

Although this is a small study, researchers suspect the findings could hold true in a broad range of areas, particularly the treatment of chronic illnesses. Chronic disease patients, the vast majority of whom are elderly, are generally conditioned to expect their treatments to fail, according to the AP. By studying the effects of negative thinking on therapy, researchers could find ways to overcome pessimistic patient views to enhance medical therapies, experts believe.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

PsycAdvocates Day

August 4, 2011
9:00 am-4:00 pm

The APA Education and Public Interest Government Relations Offices invite you to join us for the 2011 PsycAdvocates Day, which provides members with an exciting opportunity to serve as federal policy advocates for psychology. This day-long event, which will end in time for Opening Session of the APA convention, will begin with a morning federal advocacy training that will include an overview of the federal legislative process, strategies for effectively informing and influencing policymakers, and a briefing on current legislative issues on APA's advocacy agenda.

The day will culminate with early afternoon visits to Capitol Hill to meet with Members of Congress or their staff to advocate on pressing issues facing the psychology community. The congressional visits are a requirement for participation in the workshop. No prior advocacy experience or preparation is required to participate.

CE Credits: 3
Enrollment Limit: 75
Member $75
Nonmember $100
(Breakfast and lunch will be provided as part of your enrollment fee.)
Enrollment opens April 15, 2011.
Enroll online at or call the CEP Office at 800-374-2721, ext. 5991.

For more information or questions about this workshop, please contact Ben Vonachen at (202) 336-6097 or or visit the PsycAdvocates website at

APA Science Showcase

Please spread the news about the APA Science Showcase, a research demonstration program that will take place at the APA Convention in Washington DC, August 4 - 7. We hope the Science Showcase will feature some of the most intriguing and engaging science from our discipline. Please consider submitting a demonstration for this program.

The Showcase will take place in the Convention Center in an informal learning situation - this will not be set up like a regular session - with up to six different demonstrations on the program over the course of two days. Please identify engaging, stimulating demonstrations that you think will attract and keep an audience. These demonstrations should be only about 15 minutes long, with some additional time for discussion.

The benefits are substantial - not only will you help inform those in attendance about research in our field, you might be singled out as the best of the demonstrations, resulting in a prize of $3,000. In addition, all selected programs will receive support for expenses associated with mounting the demonstrations.

Please visit for the full program description and application form. The deadline date for submissions is April 15, so please don't delay discussing this with your colleagues. Contact the Science Directorate (; 202-336-6000) if you have questions.

Awards for High School Teachers

Know a High School Psychology Teacher who makes a difference? Want them to be able to get funding for education or professional development? Please pass this information on!

NEW: APF Professional Development Awards for High School Psychology Teachers

The purpose of these awards is to help high school psychology teachers travel to and attend regional or national teaching and/or psychology conferences. Applicants may be awarded up to $250. Funds can be used to offset costs of travel, conference registration, and housing accommodations. Applications to attend the APA Convention (August 4-7, 2011, Washington, DC) are encouraged. $2,500 is available for funding. These grants are made possible through a generous gift from Dr. Lee Gurel.

The application deadline is April 15, 2011; for details on how to apply, visit

NEW: APF High School Psychology Teacher Network Grants

The purpose of the these grants is to support the development of local and regional networks of psychology teachers and to support a local or regional teaching workshop or conference for high school psychology teachers. APF is particularly interested in proposals for professional development opportunities for teachers that could lead to the formation of a new regional network of psychology teachers. APF will award $1,500 in grants in 2011. These grants are made possible through a generous gift from Dr. Lee Gurel.

The application deadline is May 1, 2011; for details on how to apply, visit

Students Hosting Fashion Show This Saturday

Columbus Academy's eighth annual Fashion Show and Silent Auction, a student-run event that raises funds for the National Eating Disorders Association, will be held this Saturday, March 5, from 7-10 p.m. at the Franklin Park Conservatory. You can reserve seats by purchasing tickets for
$25 by March 4. Tickets at the door do not guarantee seats. VIP packages for$75 per ticket include front row seats and an event t-shirt.