Optimizing Everyday Function in Older Adults: Translating the Evidence
Rebok, George W.
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Older adults are more likely to fear losing their cognitive abilities than their physical abilities. Fortunately, a growing body of research suggests that cognitive decline isn’t inevitable for most people as they age and may even be reversible through cognitive interventions. However, controversy and confusion still surround the effectiveness of cognitive training with older adults and its impact on everyday life function and psychological well-being. This talk will focus on what the current research says about the effectiveness of various cognitive interventions for optimizing everyday function in the older population. Particular attention will be paid to skill-based interventions that target single or multiple cognitive abilities that are known to show significant age-related decline. A major question to be explored is the degree to which cognitive training transfers to non-trained ability domains and daily life tasks. We will also explore the use of multimodal interventions that combine different intervention approaches such as skill-based cognitive training with intellectual engagement or stimulation approaches as a way of promoting greater transfer to daily life activities.