If your senior parents seem to be struggling with aging issues, and often seem depressed or anxious, you may want to consider counseling. A mental health psychologist, especially one who works with seniors, can help your parents cope with problems that seniors face. The result might be more happiness in their senior years and more zest for living. Here's how a mental health psychologist can help.
Screen for Mental and Physical Health Issues
The psychologist may want to differentiate between mental and physical health issues. Sometimes physical problems can cause depression, lethargy, or other mental changes. Your parents may still benefit from mental health counseling, but they might also need medical care to improve their general health.
Help Your Parents Find Enjoyment
Growing older is stressful for several reasons. If your parents aren't active anymore, they may miss their friends and doing things outdoors. A counselor can pinpoint this issue and then work with your parents to find things in life that bring them enjoyment. They can encourage them to add enjoyment each day so your loved ones find reasons to be happy, rather than constantly dwelling on being lonely or sad.
Techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy train your parents to change their inner dialogue and their reactions to thoughts and stress. This type of mental health psychology can often improve one's outlook and behavior by changing patterns of thinking.
Determine if Mental Health Meds Are Needed
One or both of your parents may need to take medication to help them deal with depression and anxiety – depending on their mental and physical health conditions. However, care has to be taken when giving seniors drugs. Seniors can react differently than younger people, and some drugs can even be dangerous for seniors.
If a psychologist isn't permitted to prescribe drugs in your state, they can work with a doctor or psychiatrist to get the medications that your parents need prescribed.
Help Your Parents Make Important Decisions
When your parents get older, they may not be safe living at home. Moving to assisted living can be a difficult choice, but a counselor helps your parents see both sides of the issue, and helps them understand what the best decision is for each parent. A counselor may also need to support your parents after one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's or some other debilitating disease.
Even though a mental health psychologist has several forms of therapy to try, talk therapy could still be the best to offer when your parents are struggling with all the changes that come with getting older – like losing mobility, getting sick, and worrying about being closer to death.
For more information contact a mental health psychologist in your area.
A few years ago, I had a terrible disagreement with my mother-in-law. For several months, I didn’t speak to my husband’s mom. The bitterness I felt toward this woman was overwhelming. Thankfully, I decided to forgive her for the things she said and did to me. After I made this choice, I felt relieved and happier. Are you struggling to forgive someone? Consider making an appointment with a reputable counselor near you. This professional can help you sort through your feelings of resentment towards the other person. On this blog, I hope you will discover the numerous emotional issues counselors help clients successfully deal with.