Older adults commonly experience stressors related to a decline in physical, cognitive, and functional abilities, loss of purpose and independence, bereavement, societal ageism, and financial hardships. Chronic stressors have cascading effects on physical and mental outcomes, including worse overall well-being, increased depression, and greater physical disability and mobility limitation. Stressful events increase the likelihood of chronic metabolic, pulmonary, and cardiovascular diseases. These stressors are often unavoidable in modern Western societies, given the realities of aging, so identifying methods to enhance older adults’ ability to manage stressors is essential.
Researchers from UC San Diego in collaboration with the Mather LifeWays Institute developed a manualized psychological intervention, "Raise Your Resilience" (facilitator manual), intended to improve resilience and related outcomes among older adults living in senior housing communities.
The Raise Your Resilience facilitator manual provides evidence that a novel, brief psychological intervention can improve resilience and wisdom, and reduce perceived stress, albeit with small effect size, among independent living adults with relatively high levels of baseline resilience.
Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, loss, and other sources of stress. Resilience is a modestly heritable personality trait and is partially malleable. Resilience is associated with lower levels of anxiety, depression, and general psychological distress, and has a mediating effect on physical and mental health in peoplewho have experienced trauma as children or adults, and those managing chronic health conditions. Resilience decreases perceived stress.
Among older adults, high resilience has been shown to be a significant determinant of well-being, and is associated with lower levels of perceived stress as well as greater happiness, and better quality of life.
The facilitator manual is available for non-exclusive licensing.