As we age, we experience increasing loss, additional health issues, and changes in life that can lead to sadness, worry, and depression. If you have noticed changes in the overall behavior of your elderly parent, it may be time to broach the subject of their seeking therapy.
Depression and anxiety in the elderly is something therapists help with on a regular basis. Quality counseling can help your mom or dad with their aging process and get to the root of any unhappiness.
A few life events, in particular, can be very difficult for parents to process:
- Retirement – Although potentially exciting, retirement is a huge life change. Our jobs are often a source of purpose. When that routine is suddenly gone, it can leave a void that is difficult to fill. Finding new purpose can be a real struggle for some.
- Health issues – As we age, we find ourselves needing to alter our daily activities; both how they are performed and if they are actually still an option. A once strong and independent person requires assistance for more laborious tasks and asking for help is not an easy pill to swallow.
- Grief – The loss of a spouse, other family members, and lifelong friends is devastating. And this, of course, only accelerates as we age.
“What Should I Say?”
Honest and open communication is the key. And, because they may already be in a fragile mental state, how you approach your parent is particularly important.
Here are a few pointers.
- Include other family members, if possible. But not too many. You don’t want such a discussion to feel like an intervention.
- Ask them how they are feeling. How they would like to be feeling. And take their responses to heart.
- Remind them that depression and loneliness are normal but there are people to talk to that will help them process their thoughts and feelings.
- Empathize with their feelings. Keep in mind how you would feel if your child told you that they think you need counseling.
- Include them in the process of finding a counselor. If you can help them with a list of local therapists who are on their insurance, provide that as well as information about each. It’s their therapy, they should choose a counselor.
We can help
Our professional team prides themselves in providing the compassionate help and expertise that your loved one deserves. Call us today.
Taconic Psychiatry is Vermont’s most trusted psychiatry practice. If you need help thinking through how to approach and suggest therapy to your parents, reach out to discuss. Our offices are in Manchester Center and we provide services to Manchester Center, Bennington, Rutland, and to all of Vermont via online therapy services.