We’ve all heard the truism, “Getting older isn’t for sissies;” and as an LDS family counselor, I can tell you that I have dealt with many patients with aging-related problems. Though aging is a natural process – one that most people have little or no difficulty with – some people find it difficult to adjust, which can lead to a host of problems in their lives. Family support and the help of a good therapist can help many of these people overcome their feelings of anxiety and dread. If you or someone you know is getting older, here are some things you need to know about dealing with aging-related issues:
According to a Senior Care Community, many people look forward to getting older and enjoying some of the freedom that being a senior citizen affords them; but for others, getting older fills them with a dread of all things geriatric-related. According to Financial Advisor For Retirees, Retirement, increasing medical issues, thinking about the potential loss of a spouse or other family member and many other aging-related problems weigh heavily on some people to a point at which they can no longer find enjoyment in everyday activities or friendships.
Aging-Related Physical Health Issues
After the age of 40, physical infirmities start piling up, even for people who are generally in good health. For these healthy, older adults, they will usually experience a mild decline in the areas of visual and verbal memory, visuospatial abilities, immediate memory, hearing and vision, bodily strength and appetite and energy levels. For some people, however, there are some more serious medical conditions that can cause an elevated level of stress and alarm. These conditions, like dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases, can cause symptoms that aren’t immediately disabling but that make the person suffering acutely aware that they have a medical problem that is going to cause them some impairment or that may even kill them.
Aging-Related Mental Health Issues
As an LDS family counselor, I tell patients all the time that it is normal for them to experience a mild mental decline as they get older. But there are more significant mental health problems that aging adults can experience including generalized anxiety, sexual dysfunction, sleep disorders, depression, behavioral problems like aggression and wandering, suicidal thoughts and actions and alcohol and substance abuse.
Therapy Can Help
Therapy can help older adults having difficulties with the transitions of aging to manage their emotions, find meaning and new ways to enjoy their lives and to find new support systems. Therapy can help people to face their fears of death and deal with grief. Therapeutic treatment can help patients with depression, anxiety and family-related problems and may also be able to help with the symptoms of some medical diagnoses like dementia.
Don’t suffer or let someone you know suffer. Get help for your aging-related issues from an LDS family counselor who understands the needs of senior patients, Jody VanDrimmelen, at Insight Child & Family Counseling. Call (972) 426-9500 or visit www.j9n.83e.myftpupload.com to schedule an appointment.