Life changes….it keeps on changing as you grow up. Your style of walking, talking and doing things-everything keeps changing until a time when you cannot change anymore. As we travel along the path of life, unexpected bumps or obstacles may occur.
The physical and cognitive changes that occur during the ageing process can make life difficult for many people. Changes which come about as people age, demand multiple adjustments. This is especially true for individuals who were used to being independent during the first part of their lives. Due to their declining health and limited mobility, most elders have the tendency to withdraw from society, spending most of their time looking back, reflecting on what they have made out of their lives. The multiple adjustments could also put them at a particular risk of developing depression or other emotional issues.
Other losses are physical impairments in hearing, vision or mobility and worsening of overall health. If they live long enough, many individuals also experience the loss of independence and to some degree, dignity. Old age is not a disease but a normal, inevitable biological phenomenon. Physical, Financial, Functional and other dependency has a major effect on the self-esteem of the old. There could also be the insecurity of being abandoned by their children.
What can we do as their children and guardians to ease them into the next leg of life’s journey?
Geriatric counselling can be one of the many measures to help our elders age healthily. It’s a type of counselling that is meant to offer assistance to older adults during this difficult transition in their lives. Problems in elderly are multi-faceted and often a single problem may be the result of a complex chain of de-compensation of body functions. So how do the individuals react psychologically to all these problems? They could go into denial or feel anxious, fear, sadness, anger, irritability, apathy, jealousy. They could become over-religious and spiritual or in some cases have paranoid reactions and go into self-neglect, depression or in worst cases make suicidal attempts.
So what then is the remedy?
Both, elderly people and the society have to work together to make old age as less troublesome as possible and try to make life very comfortable for them.
According to Sir James Sterling Ross, “You do not heal old age; you protect it, you promote it and you extend it”.
Looking for geriatric counseling? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details and our counsellor will give you a call back.