Why Talk Therapy is Important For Seniors

Why Talk Therapy is Important For Seniors

Getting older is simply a fact of life, but aging may present certain challenges to some individuals and their families. Most people look forward to their retirement years, but as some move from middle age into their senior years may find themselves having a difficult time adjusting.
Almost every adult will experience some type of health issue and mental stress as they age, and as they move into their golden years may need the support of a mental health professional to help ease the difficulty of this transition.

Some adults may enter into their “Golden Years” with an eager anticipation for a new phase in life involving retirement, travel or perhaps new grandchildren. There are others, however, that have a great deal of anxiety about the physical and mental health challenges of aging. These seniors may find it very difficult to transition into retirement, feeling that they will no longer serve a purpose or will no longer be able to find meaningful or enjoyable activities to fill up their time. These feelings of hopelessness may only increase if the senior is suffering from physical ailments that restrict mobility or if they are suffering from memory issues caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It becomes increasingly more difficult to face mortality as we age, especially when peers, friends, spouses or partners pass away, leading to strong feelings of isolation.

Another issue seniors may face as they age is age discrimination, or ageism, which may result in well intentioned loved ones overlooking the opinions or desires of their senior family member, or even a forced retirement from work. According to a recent survey, 37% of adults over the age of 60 reported experiencing age discrimination in the past year, and 43% said they were fearful of physical violence. Almost half of these adults surveyed said they had experienced some form of disrespect based on their age.

Talk Therapy For Aging Adults

Talk therapy can be a great help to senior adults who are having difficulties transitioning into this stage of life by helping them to manage their emotions and feelings, providing them with a new support system, and helping them to find new sources for enjoyment and meaning in life. Counseling can help those dealing with the fear of death to face those fears, and provides a way for those who have lost a loved one with a way to deal with grief. Therapists can also help family members deal with the emotions caused by communication issues or issues resulting from a loved one diagnosed with some form of dementia. While dementia is technically a medical diagnosis, talk therapy treatment may help treat some of the mental health symptoms of dementia.

As the attitude towards mental health issues has begun to change in recent years as awareness increases, more senior adults are turning to therapy to treat mental health issues. Many of these seniors grew up in a time when mental issues were stigmatized or any mental health concern was written off as aging or some form of dementia. Today, seniors are realizing more than ever, that therapy allows them to address issues caused by life adjustments, changes in income, childhood or early adulthood trauma, anxiety, stress, depression or family problems. The transition that occurs at this stage in life can lead to a reflection process that leads seniors to seek counseling and talk therapy.

In the past, a widely held false belief that senior adults were frail, lonely, cognitively imparied and irritable contributed to the belief that seniors were unable to take care of themselves and should no longer be allowed certain freedoms after a certain age. Many aging adults experience only a slight, if any, decline in cognitive abilities and experience no major changes to their personality.

Talk therapy helps seniors who are struggling with transitions in their later years by providing them with the tools they need to live a happy and fulfilled life. LifeSource Behavioral Health Professionals at Terrace Ridge offers a number of services such as Individualized care tailored to individual needs, and Talk Therapy that encourages and directs each resident in resolving issues that may be complicating their ability to cope with stress or a difficult situation in their life.

At Terrace Ridge, we feel that our community is truly unique. From the parlor you enter to outdoor exercise walkways, everything is carefully planned for our residents and their families. Comfort and convenience was designed into our spacious resident rooms, living areas located throughout the community, and the inviting dining room. We’ve incorporated the very best planning in providing a community that has a very special feeling. Once you visit, you’ll immediately recognize that everything has been done to enhance the quality of life for your loved one. Contact us today for more information.