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The 15th Annual Ellen M. Gee Memorial Lecture

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Harbour Centre, 515 W. Hastings St., Vancouver

Room 7000

Vancouver, BC

Canada

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The 15th Annual Ellen M. Gee Memorial Lecture Series in Gerontology presents: Dr. Kathy Pichora-Fuller (Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto)

“Healthy aging: The interface of sensory, cognitive and social factors”

Abstract

A common goal of gerontologists, including health professionals and policy makers, is to promote successful aging. Active engagement in communication and social interaction can help to achieve successful aging. However, successful aging can be challenged by sensory loss and by other chronic health conditions, notably cognitive impairment or dementia, that can interact with sensory loss to compromise communication and social interaction. Cognitive declines interact with sensory declines in healthy older adults who do not have clinical significant impairments in either domain. Strikingly, mounting evidence suggests that clinically significant sensory impairment is also associated with dementia and predicts incident dementia. Various mechanisms are hypothesized as possible explanations for the links between sensory loss and dementia. Social psychological factors may offer a key to understanding these links. Stigma, self-efficacy, social support, isolation and loneliness may be causes and/or consequences of sensory and cognitive aging. Future research, including research arising from the Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging and the Canadian Consortium on Neuro-degeneration in Aging, is needed to discover the nature of these connections. Translational research is needed to determine if rehabilitative interventions for sensory loss could contribute to slowing down or staving off dementia. New community-based approaches to promoting good communication and social interaction for successful, active aging may enrich age-friendly health promotion initiatives.

About the Speaker

Kathy Pichora-Fuller is a Full Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto. She completed a B.A. in Linguistics and a M.Sc. in Audiology and Speech Sciences. After working as the Supervisor of Audiology at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, she completed a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology. She was on faculty in the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences at UBC (1992-2002) and a Guest Professor in the Linneaus Centre for Hearing and Deafness Research at Linköping University in Sweden (2010-2014). She is the hearing expert for the Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging Clinical and Psychology CLSA working groups and is on the sensory-cognitive team of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging. She translates her lab-based research on auditory and cognitive aging to address the needs of older adults who suffer from age-related hearing and cognitive impairments, with a new focus on social engagement and healthy aging.

*Reception to follow*

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Date and Time

Location

Harbour Centre, 515 W. Hastings St., Vancouver

Room 7000

Vancouver, BC

Canada

View Map

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