SPEARFISH, S.D. (KEVN) - Dr. Cheryl Anagnopoulos, professor of psychology at Black Hills State University, was recently appointed by Gov. Kristi Noem to serve on the South Dakota Advisory Council on Aging. Anagnopoulos is an expert in cognition, memory and the psychology of aging.
The Advisory Council on Aging ensures representation regarding administrative and social concerns which would improve the status of older South Dakotans.
“When you combine the vastness of our state with low population density and nursing home closures, we need to think about the loss of jobs and implications of sending elders hundreds of miles away for healthcare,” says Anagnopoulos. “What does the provision of services look like in our small communities when elder care might be more than family members can handle?”
Anagnopoulos says that mental and physical health are linked when discussing the aging process.
“When we think about aging, we assume it’s sad, awful, or depressing. But usually as people age they learn more coping strategies and new ways to engage in life,” says Anagnopoulos.
When asked how people can age well, Anagnopoulos shares the following advice:
“Don’t smoke, exercise, find a good support network (friends who will help you through what may come), and eat healthy.”
Anagnopoulos says research has shown those in rural communities live longer than our urban counterparts. Several factors contribute to this including lower degrees of stress and higher quality of living in rural areas such as air quality and lower crime rates.
This semester at BHSU Anagnopoulos teaches Lifespan Developmental Psychology and she has also taught Psychology of Aging and Gerontological Psychology. She was named the BHSU Distinguished Faculty
Member in 2010 for her high-quality teaching, research, and service. A recognized leader, she currently serves as Faculty Senate President at BHSU, an elected body which expresses the faculty’s ideas for the welfare and improvement of the university.