As we grow older particular challenges become more common and can place a strain on our emotional wellbeing. This includes the loss of a loved one, caring for a partner or relative, the transition to retirement, cognitive* problems and adjustment to various physical health difficulties.
In many NHS services there is a recognition that older adults benefit from specialised services. This isn’t about being “ageist” but comes from the acknowledgement that as we age certain changes occur. These can be at an emotional, neurological and physical level and may impact on how we think, feel and act.
I have over 16 years of experience of working within older adult services in the NHS and am part of a local and national special interest group which helps to provide guidance and continuous professional development for psychologists working with older people. I have also published in this area.
Later life can be a time of tremendous personal growth in the face of some tough challenges. Personal therapy can help both to manage emotional distress but also reflect on what areas of development the person may wish to focus on at this point of life.
- cognitive refers to the mental processes of perception, memory, judgement and reasoning as opposed to emotional processes.