Therapy in the Golden Years
Psychotherapy can be a marvelous thing at any age. Exploring your own self is a sign of self-awareness, courage, and honesty. Asking yourself to be the best you is admirable.
Many things change as we travel across the lifespan. Children grow and leave, deaths occur, careers come and go, and relationships can grow or deteriorate. Life’s journey brings happiness, pain, births and deaths, forgiveness, loneliness, anxieties, depressions, physical ailments, and more. Whether circumstances are positive or draining, they require adjustments and change. Therapy can provide you with a safe, supportive environment to explore your experiences and adjust accordingly.
Psychotherapy is notably helpful for seniors. Chronic illnesses and pain have considerable effects on physical and mental health. Add side effects of medical treatments and medications, plus declines in cognitive ability, and you have a recipe for emotional and interpersonal repercussions. Giving your body and brain opportunities to regenerate results in decreased emotional stress and improved cognitive and physical health.
Many medications used to treat medical and physical ailments create cognitive and emotional changes. Using multiple medications can intensify the side effects you experience. Learning to manage your body and brain can ease your ability to sleep and decrease your feelings of depression and anxiety. Gaining understanding will empower you to manage these effects to improve your health.
At least 6.5 million older American adults suffer from symptoms of depression. There is an increased risk of depression when other illnesses limit your functioning. A welcoming, supportive relationship with a therapist decreases these symptoms and their effects.
For early- to mid-stage dementia patients and their families, therapy will assist in adjusting to new circumstances and the emotional aspects of adapting. Caregiver support is available. As our society changes, there is greater intergenerational stress and loneliness experienced by the aging population. The stress of taking care of a loved one while working and maintaining a family/home can feel unmanageable. Therapy can help relieve these stressors for you and your loved ones.
In addition to the generalized benefits of psychotherapy, aging adults can uniquely experience:
- Decrease in Physical Ailments
- Decrease in Medical Costs
- Managing Side Effects of Medications
- Slowing Cognitive Decline
- Insomnia and Sleeping Problems
- Family Relations
- Effects of Polypharmacy
- Loneliness and Isolation
- Grief and Loss
- Death and Mortality
- Dealing with Aging and Illness
- Facing Possible Dependence
- Transitioning to Retirement
- Finding Meaning