Everyone ages, though the effects of aging differ from person to person. No matter how diligent we are, our bodies and mental faculties gradually decline and things that were once easy become progressively more difficult.
How well a person accepts these changes can also vary. People who were fiercely independent for most of their lives often have trouble coping with the fact that they need assistance later in life. They may also find it tough to accept that they cannot do the sorts of physically challenging things that were once easy for them.
Psychological difficulties at this point in life can also arise from other factors that one normally encounters in life. Losing a partner, friends, or children can easily cause someone with no previous mental health concerns to develop depression and/or anxiety problems.
Psychologists working with this population employ a number of strategies that have proven effective. These include CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), talk therapy, anti-depressants, behavior modification, disease management strategies, and health promotion through regular exercise and proper diet.
Things can be especially difficult for adults living in long term care facilities. They often feel isolated, sad, and unable to relate to those who also live there. It is important for relatives and friends to visit them whenever possible and keep close tabs on their condition. If anything seems wrong, they should immediately report it to the head nurse or facility director, and then follow-up to make sure that corrective action has been taken.
While psychological difficulties may be more common for people in their golden years, they do not always have to be debilitating. It is up to people who work with this population to accurately diagnose when issues are present and then take proper steps to rectify the problem(s). That will help to ensure that people can live out their remaining days with a degree of dignity and happiness.