It is easy to look ahead to our senior years and envision time spent relaxing, enjoying grandchildren, pursuing hobbies, and traveling with friends and family. For some, however, the realities of growing older place limitations on these idealized images. With aging, individuals may face challenges that interfere with the enjoyment of their “golden years.” Failing health, the death of a loved one or lifelong friends, forced retirement, financial burdens, and a feeling of separation from or even abandonment by family members are among the difficulties seniors experience. Older adults may benefit from psychotherapy in order to adapt to these or other changes in their lives.
Without assistance, seniors may become depressed. Symptoms of depression in seniors include loss of interest in people and activities once loved, feelings of worthlessness and uselessness, and sadness and loneliness. Seniors may also experience lowered self-esteem, worry and nervous tension, fatigue, and weight loss or gain. If these problems are not resolved, a senior may begin having thoughts and feelings of wanting to die.
It is important for seniors to know they can benefit from the support of a psychologist specializing in senior issues. In addition, adult children who view these changes in their parents as normal may fail to appreciate that talk therapy for seniors can be useful. Because of her years of experience in geriatric psychology and treating depression in the elderly, Dr. Irene Swerdlow-Freed has the ability to relate to seniors with appreciation, sensitivity, and respect. She is particularly skilled at helping older adults review their lives, recognize their accomplishments, and develop a plan for the future.
Through therapy services for seniors, Dr. Swerdlow-Freed can help older adults:
- Adjust to retirement
- Cope with illness and physical challenges
- Deal with financial burdens
- Develop a renewed sense of purpose
- Manage feelings of isolation from children and other family members
- Mourn the death of a child
- Mourn the death of a spouse