Bergen Alliance Counseling
Some individuals approach their golden years anticipating retirement, grandchildren, a new phase of life, traveling, and doing the things that they have looked forward to leading up to retirement. Many are successful, enjoy their golden years with their partners, are physically well, and live to old age enjoying their family and friends. Unfortunately, many others are not so lucky and are faced with the physical and mental effects of aging. It is extremely difficult for many to face mortality, illness, the death of friends, family, child, sibling, or a spouse. Many experience isolation with the loss of a spouse. One of the most serious issues for the elderly and their families is developing Dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Many of our elderly face medical issues such as visual and verbal memory problems, hearing issues, appetite and bodily strength, and depression. Several of our elderly clients are dealing with life adjustment issues and therapy can help to reassert independence in many individuals. Today approximately 6 million Americans age 65 or older suffer from Depression, but only 10 percent receive or seek treatment. Depression in the elderly impacts older individuals differently than younger adults and lasts longer in most cases. Advancing age is often accompanied by loss of social support systems which often leaves an elderly person alone with their thoughts and feelings.
Quite often families do not know what to do when a parent begins to appear depressed and at times they attribute it to age and think it is normal for the
elderly to be depressed, which is a myth. Depression is not a part of the aging process, although many elderly individuals suffer from depression. It is because these depression’s are not treated we often see an increase in the older population. We at Bergen Alliance strongly recommend that if you are elderly, or an elderly family member has signs of depression, come in for a consultation. Sometimes seeing a therapist can help alleviate the depression, and if the depression continues, we will refer to a psychiatrist to consult and see if medication is needed in conjunction with therapy. Over the years we have witnessed many elderly clients come in with severe depression, and over time leave our office smiling again with hope. We work closely with the families of our elderly clients. We truly enjoy working with the elderly and learning from them.
. Irritability, change in moods, crying, sadness
. Lack of interest in most things, confusion, inability to concentrate, forgetfulness
. Decreased appetite, sleeping more or less,
. Hopelessness, helplessness, suicidal talk or wishing one were dead
.Discussing death frequently or giving away their belongings