The focus on the mental health of elderly adults is becoming more and more prominent. One-on-one therapy has been shown to be very effective in addressing the process of aging.
Aging is an inevitable part of life, which is a blessing, but can be such a curse too. The blessing is that senior citizens grow old enough to pursue careers, to mentor, pursue their sport, raise their children and enjoy their grandchildren. Unfortunately, it is also a time when older persons recognize that they cannot do the things they used to do or at the speed they used to. Also, many people begin to watch their friends and spouses pass away. Their social circle becomes smaller. They may be unable to drive their vehicles or to leave their homes and become more dependent on others. Mentally many begin to experience difficulties with their memory whether as a result of normal aging or a more serious degenerative disease. Such difficulties can often lead to loneliness, confusion, grief, depression, anxiety and mood swings.
As a Psychologist, I have recognized the value of counseling in helping elderly adults to feel better. In combination with family therapy, counseling can help the older person and their family better negotiate the changes experienced. Interaction with a primary caregiver can be helpful in educating the caregiver on this developmental stage and how to manage the emotional and mental challenges experienced.
My approach is to be compassionate and patient. An understanding of the cognitive functions of the aging brain is important. This understanding is enhanced through observation, neuropsychological assessments, and interviews with the client, their family, caregivers and their medical specialists.
“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”
- Yoko Ono