Washington University in St. Louis

Brian Carpenter is a professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, and the recipient of their David Hadas Teaching Award. His primary research interests focus on relationships among older adults, their family members, and their health care providers. In particular, he studies communication among those three parties, with an eye toward developing interventions to improve knowledge and enhance health literacy. Dr. Carpenter teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate level that address the psychological needs of older adults, with a particular emphasis on end-of-life care and dementia.


No matter how old you are, you're aging. You started aging from the moment you were born, and you'll continue aging until the moment you die. That's the brutal, universal fact. But people age differently, as you’ve noticed if you've looked around and compared yourself to your peers. Are you aging better than they are? Worse than they are? In what ways and for what reasons?

In this class we’ll review what biological, psychological, and social research has taught us about growing older. Along the way, we'll discuss what's common with aging (everybody shrinks a little), what's not normal (Alzheimer's is a disease not everyone gets), and key components of successful aging (friends and family are important, but perhaps in different ways). The trajectory of aging gets shaped very early in life, but there are powerful forces that guide it along the way, and steps you can take to maximize your later years.



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Sue Chapin

Fascinating lecture by Brian Carpenter re aging. Excellent program for any age, but especially Seniors.

Sue Chapin

2 years ago
David Soubly

Well done

Articulate and compassionate with humor thrown in as well. This talk gently exposes stereotypes about aging and balances the inevitability of growing old with the promise of a fulfilling life for those fortunate enough to get there. Filled with data, anecdotes and stories, with audience participation as well. Highly recommended!

7 months ago

It was quite enjoyable to watch the lecture.
It showed me there is always “room for improvement” for us all.

7 months ago
Elyseo da Silva

Makes you question your stereotypes

Great talk about aging and what comes with it – or what we expect to come with it. Inspiring speaker, funny and factual at the same time.

7 months ago
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