3 Ways Therapy Can Help Older Adults

Aging is a natural part of life, but that doesn't mean that aging comes easily for everyone. Many elderly individuals experience not only physical changes as they age but mental changes as well. Fortunately, therapy can be a valuable tool to help older adults overcome issues associated with aging in order to lead a happier and fuller life.

1. Assert One's Independence

The children of older adults can become quite protective as their parents' age. Although these children certainly have well-intentioned efforts, the excess care and oversight they give to their aging parents can be frustrating. For instance, older adults often feel smothered or stifled as a result of a child's over-caring nature. That said, therapy can provide older adults with an effective strategy that will allow them to assert their independence in a way that doesn't damage the relationship they have with their children.

2. Overcome Social Isolation

Social isolation can become a real problem for many older adults. Children grow up and move away, friends and spouses pass away, and mobility problems can limit an older individual's ability to travel within the community. All of these problems can lead to social isolation.

When an older adult loses his or her relationships, depression can set in. It's critical that older people seek professional help to overcome any social isolation they are experiencing before it takes a serious toll on their mental health. A therapist will be able to offer strategies an older adult can use to forge new relationships and become more involved in his or her community over time.

3. Cope With Physical Changes

An aging body isn't as limber and spry as it once was. As such, many older adults find that they are not able to participate in the activities they used to love and enjoy. Diminished physical capacity is not just frustrating, it can lead to depression and anxiety for many aging individuals.

However, a good therapist can help an older adult learn healthy coping strategies that will ultimately lead to the acceptance of diminished physical abilities. Likewise, a therapist can help older patients explore ways to find joy and meaning in life by participating in low-impact activities that will not pose a threat to their patients' health over time.

Dealing with the many changes that occur when one gets older can be difficult. Geriatric mental health professionals play an important role in helping people transition into their later years without losing their love for life. Contact a company like Geriatric Counseling Services, Inc. for more information.