Many people find it difficult to come to terms with the particular issues associated with aging. Adjusting to retirement, grieving your loved ones, facing your deepest fears about death—all of these experiences can be very overwhelming. As you move this highly transitional period, there are ways to manage your fears and relationships that will enable you to cope with challenges and embrace new experiences.
Common Issues Related to Aging
Aging brings with it many joys, but there are also physical, mental, and emotional issues that many people face in the latter years of life. As your body ages, it becomes more susceptible to certain ailments such as heart disease, arthritis, and hearing and/or visual loss. Many older adults also suffer from some form of memory loss or dementia—the most common form of which is Alzheimer’s. A lesser-known fact is that depression is widespread among older adults, effecting approximately 15% of persons over 65.
Aging well begins with embracing older adulthood as a new stage of life—one that offers exciting new experiences and opportunities to share your wisdom with others. As an older adult, you have a unique and valuable perspective on the world, and by compassionately sharing it with others you can build relationships that will enable both older and younger people to love one another fully.
Death and Dying
It is completely natural for human beings to have fears about death and dying, particularly as we enter the latter years of life. Counseling can help older adults process their grief for the passing of loved ones, face fears about death, and cope with end-of-life issues. Counseling can be especially helpful for those who are living with terminal illness. A professional counselor can also assist families of older adults to find joy in supporting and caring for their loved ones.
3 Most Common Problems All Geriatric Caregivers Should Be Aware Of
By Spencer Fox,
Posted May 2nd, 2019
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In the past 50 years, the life expectancy in the United States has risen nearly 10 years, from around 70 years in 1969 (which yes, was already 50 years ago) to Around 79 in 2016 (the most recent year I could find data for). With advances in medicine and many general health practices that have improved in recent years, we are living longer and longer.
However, we are not always thriving and this can mean many years of struggling health and mental decline. For our families, then, this means that there will be many changes that occur that can cause stress and the job of caregiving will fall onto their children and grandchildren. With the increase in medical complexity of the end of life comes a host of stresses that can make things more difficult to provide good care for love ones.
Perhaps this is you reading this. Maybe it’s a parent or grandparent who you are happy is still around but who is requiring a lot of medical attention. Perhaps they are beginning to show signs of dementia or are in later stages of Alzheimer’s. This is a stressful experience and can bring up a host of emotions that complicate things and may affect your motivation to be their caregiver in the first place.
My hope is that the following paragraphs will help to normalize this experience for you and hopefully give you some tools and expectations that can help you navigate this
Fear and the Overstated 7 Stages of Grief: Taking the Griever Off the Clock
By Chris Lewis,
Posted June 13th, 2016
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Endings and Leavings | Part 8 of a 9-part series on the deeper Self that awakens in laboring through grief, living through loss, and embracing endings as the seedbed of new beginnings.
Do not go gentle into that good night … rage, rage against the dying of the light. (poet Dylan Thomas)
My wife’s voice, shrouded by muffled sobs, was barely audible on the phone. She did not want our daughter to overhear the shocking news. Not yet.
The staff at Chloe’s school had called just a minute ago: her kindergarten teacher had died suddenly in his home. (From complications related to a seizure, we later learned.)
Chloe’s beloved teacher, Mr. Heaton? Dead? The words rolled like a mudslide down the mind, gathering speed and refusing to stick.
And this was my adult mind. How would our 6-year-old brave her world upending, just as it was beginning? This kid who’d found a hero during her transition to a new city, new house, new school.
The next day, we knew, Chloe would enter that classroom and fall headlong into a void. Mr. Heaton’s energy and his teddy-bear presence would show up in the abyss of his absence. From this, we could not protect her. Except to maybe soften the landing.
If it’s true that “everything you need to know” is learned in kindergarten, then love and loss were right on time.
Grief on the Clock
We live in a culture indoctrinated with the grief schedule. Our fear of getting stuck
Dealing with Age-Diminished Loved Ones: Advice from a Christian Counselor
By Patricia Lyon,
Posted October 24th, 2014
Tags: Aging, Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia
“I hate my mother and just wish she would die. But I shouldn’t feel like this!” said one of my friends.
You’ve watched your mother decline into dementia. She thinks people are stealing from her and trying to kill her. You might even be the one she accuses. Remember, she is so afraid. Instead of reacting with anger or argument, will you create a moment of joy? Perhaps you could pull out a photo album, or give her a foot massage, or tell her a childhood story. Sometimes diversion is a wonderful cure for the raging brain that people can no longer control.
When Your Parent Regresses into Childhood
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are heartbreaking to watch. They can be so frustrating to manage, especially when you are a caregiver to someone you love deeply. As you become familiar with how the disease progresses, your paradigm will keep shifting as they regress into childhood. A beloved dad quit showering and was very belligerent. The family agreed that showering was not optional, but no one could figure out what to do about the problem. Finally, one of his daughters had an idea. She took him into the bathroom, turned on the warm shower, got him undressed – and he showered with her help. He had forgotten what it meant to take a shower, and no longer knew how to turn the water on, what the soap was for, or where the towels