Online Program

Technology and Interpersonal Neurobiology as Behavioral Interventions in Support of Healthy Aging in Younger Aged Cohorts: A Case for the “Empathetic Companion.”

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Alice Delaney, Ph.D., M.Ed., M.A, Pathways Institute for Crisis Intervention and Education, Inc, Perry Hall, MD
As persons age they will experience circumstantial changes in the relationships that are most relevant to their informal support system; and subsequently their overall wellbeing. In fact, trends indicate that informal caregivers (nucleus family, relatives and friends) are becoming scarcer and that need will extend beyond human supply.

This trend is significant when considering that within five years the next cohort of aged will have reached age 60 or older; making up for 6.8% of the population. Moreover, studies consistently point to statistics which demonstrate a connection between quality social and familial relationships and mental health wellbeing.

This phenomenon of connectedness and wellbeing can best be explained within the scientific framework of Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB). IPNB suggests people are wired for relationships and that the ability to respond to these relationships is due to neurological processes in the brain that help with attachment and bonding. IPNB research data reports that relationships have an influencing role on the neurological properties which regulate: emotion/motivation, stress and cognition and behavior. When, for example, persons are empathetically understood when conveying their life experiences these systems are benefitted much to the same or better degree as taking anti-anxiety medications.

In light of the projections, forecasting trends and the likeliness of increased psychosocial stress an exploration of artificial intelligence in the form of an “empathetic companion” is proposed as an additional means of social support while aging in place. This project is proposed to ascertain feasibility and to assess if similar relational benefits (as measured by neurological consequences) are comparable to human social support. Secondary objectives are to prevent/minimize additional strains on overly burdened human and institutional resources.

After this presentation learners will:

Describe how relationships influence mental health.

Explain the general framework of Interpersonal Neurobiology

Demonstrate how technology can support aging in place.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe how relationships influence mental health. Explain the general framework of Interpersonal Neurobiology Demonstrate how technology can support aging in place.

Keyword(s): Behavioral Research, Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been managing research studies for greater than 20 years. I am currently managing two research studies funded by NIH and CMS that serve an aging (frail and dually eligible)population. Moreover, my academic studies include rehabilitation and Christian counseling, sociology. I am an active member of APA, CAPS, AACC, and several honor societies. I formed non-profit organization to serve under-represented/underserved populations in mental health wellness and education.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.