Because of COVID-19’s social distancing safety precautions, many people are not only living in fear of the virus daily, but many are feeling isolated and alone. UConn Today sat down with the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry in the UConn School of Medicine, Dr. David C. Steffens, to learn about the potential health risks of loneliness, especially during the holiday season, and what you can do to improve social connections not only for yourself, but also for your loved ones, especially higher-risk older adults.
Memory loss, confusion, misplacing things – these are all familiar symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. However, there is actually a more common sign that often goes undetected: apathy.
The national Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute has awarded the UConn Center on Aging and the School of Medicine at UConn Health more than $6 million in research funding to study cognitively vulnerable older adults living in their own home who have one or more of the ‘3Ds’: dementia, depression, or delirium.
The study is a collaboration among the UConn Center on Aging and the Department of Psychiatry at UConn Health, the University of Connecticut, and community partners including ConnectiCare Inc., and the Connecticut chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
There are many misconceptions about Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. UConn Today asked Dr. Kristina Zdanys, geriatric psychiatrist at UConn Health, to set the record straight. Zdanys, whose special interests include later-life mental health problems including cognitive and mood disorders, also discusses the latest treatment options for this devastating disease, and the growing incidence of “caregiver burnout.”
Some celebrity docs have made claims that dietary and other lifestyle changes can be preventive or a “cure” for Alzheimer’s disease. As we observe Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, it’s important to set the record straight about the most common misconceptions. During an interview on NBC Connecticut, Dr. Kristina Zdanys, a geriatric psychiatrist at UConn Health, talks about the real risks and the latest research and treatments into this debilitating disease. Aired November 10, 2014
The connection between late-life depression and cognitive decline in older adults is a major focus of Dr. David Steffens, professor and chair of the UConn Health Department of Psychiatry.
Steffens is credited with contributing to the understanding of this relationship and helping advance the field of geropsychiatry by The American College of Psychiatrists, which just presented him with the career recognition Award for Research in Geriatric Psychiatry.
The recently appointed chairman of the psychiatry department at the UConn Health Center is working to galvanize research and clinical resources to address what is being called a “silver tsunami” – the burgeoning need for mental health services for older adults.