Geriatric Counseling

Geriatric Counseling

Aging is a natural process that may present challenges for some individuals and their families. Although many older adults look forward to moving from middle age into their later years, it may be difficult for others to adjust.

All adults may experience health issues and stress as they approach and pass middle age, and the support of a therapist or other mental health professional may help ease the transition.

Understanding Aging and Geriatric Issues

While some adults may approach their “Golden Years” eagerly, anticipating retirement, grandchildren, or simply a new phase of life, others may dread the physical and mental effects of aging. It may be difficult for some adults to face the transition to retirement, deal with new frailty or medical conditions, or find enjoyable, meaningful activities if they do experience physical challenges that limit their mobility. It may also be difficult for some older adults to face mortality, especially when friends, peers, or spouses and partners pass on, and they may come to experience isolation in the wake of many such deaths. Older adults may also find it challenging to attend to basic needs in the presence of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, which affect approximately one in ten Americans of retirement age.

Ageism, or discrimination based on a person’s age, may also affect some older adults, and this practice may lead to forced retirement or cause well-intentioned loved ones to ignore an older adult’s desires or opinions. According to a United Nations Population Survey, 37% of adults over the age of 60 reported experiencing age discrimination in the last year, and 43% were afraid of personal violence. Only 49% of these adults reported being treated with respect, which indicates that just over half of the adults surveyed had experienced instances of disrespect. Further, more than half of adults over the age of 60 found it difficult to pay for basic services, 66% wished they had an opportunity to work, and 47% worried “always” or “very often” about money.
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