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Mental health issues are most prevalent among the aged since there are significant life changes at this life stage. Retirement is one of the issues that cause anxiety and depression. In this case, the aged feel bored and do not know what they can do to keep themselves occupied.
The retired often feel insignificant as they no longer contribute to society and they also tend to experience financial constraints. Aging is accompanied by illness and frailty which makes them lose the value of life since pain and physical limitations make life very challenging.
It is at this period that their partners are likely to die and leave them lonely. Losing a partner at this stage can be very depressing since this is the point in life when friendship is very important. On other occasions, the aged are moved from their familiar environments to live near close relatives who take care of them.
They tend to develop a sense of lost independence since their caregivers decide on what is best for them. These challenges can be easier for the aged if they are well equipped to accept and adapt to them earlier before they become overwhelming (Hendry & Kloep, 2002).
In Marie’s case, the situation is a great challenge since she lost her spouse, physically constrained and has been forced to move and live nearer the daughters. The following is a discussion of the various approaches that can be used to prepare and help her to face this stage of life.
Marie’s Case in Relation to addiction Counseling
The elderly people are at a greater risk of substance abuse since the challenges they face make them anxious and depressed. Despite the challenges experienced, it is possible for the elderly to become more visible, active and independent if they are supported.
For Marie, she is at risk of prescription drug abuse since she is not willing to take drugs as prescribed by her physician. She is adamant because her daughter is dependent on drugs. She is afraid that the same thing could happen to her if she takes her medication daily.
She does not understand that her medical condition is different from that of her daughter, Lisa. Educating her on the need to take the drugs as prescribed is important since they will help her gain her mobility back. Counseling will help her understand that she does not need to take these drugs for the rest of her life.
It will also help prepare her in the future. In this case, aging is accompanied by many health conditions which require her to take drugs and lengthen her life. For Marie, she is at the onset of the elderly stage, and this is the most appropriate time to guide her on how to live a healthy elderly life.
This will be achieved if she is obedient and willing to take medications as required of her by her family and health care providers. This way, other challenges will not push Marie to abuse the medications provided.
The possibility of developing a poor memory explains why counseling is important to ensure that she does not make a mistake of using drugs without consulting Toni who assists her during her medical procedures (Klausner & Alexopoulos, 1999).
The psychosocial crisis experienced by Marie
Losing physical and mental capacity is almost inevitable in old age and this limits the aged from enjoying their favorite activities. Marie physical abilities have been hindered by her knee replacement, and this makes her lose her independence.
It increases her fear of old age and makes her afraid of taking her medication regularly lest she becomes fully dependent on them. She has also started experiencing memory loss. Thus, she has to keep confirming if she has done some tasks like closing the garage or closing the door before going to bed.
The loss of her husband poses a great challenge to Marie since she has a lot of free time since she stopped working. This is the period that she requires a lot of attention from her spouse thus his death has emotionally affected her.
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Losing her partner and best friend whom they have lived together for 47 years triggered a lot of depression. She feels as if she has no one with whom to share her hopes and dreams (Hendry & Kloep, 2002).
Marie has had many life experiences with her husband. Thus, a five year period is not enough to heal her feelings of sadness and grief. This explains why she feels anxious, and she is depressed around her husband’s anniversary date.
Given that her children lived away from her, she is not used to her grandchildren’s company whom she considers a nuisance. She also had to sell her business and relocate to stay with her daughters.
It makes her lose her worth in the society since she does not have a source of income and makes her feel dependent on her daughters. Marie’s social life has been affected by the new environment. Thus, she has no known friends whom she can visit and reduce boredom.
Marie’s immediate family is also strained since they have to take care of their aging mother. For instance, Lisa who has a medical problem and twins to take care of may be overwhelmed by the increased responsibilities.
She has been affected to a point of shouting at her children, and this may result in defiant behavior (Hendry & Kloep, 2002).
Areas of Strength for Marie
Marie’s situation may be challenging. However, she has an advantage over other elderly people. She can stay with her daughters and grandchildren unlike other elderly people whose family is not available to provide care. Other than resisting the company of the grandchildren, she could turn the situation to create a great company.
Participating in her grandchildren’s playful activities will help her manage the loss of her husband. Through her daughters, Marie could introduce children to her favorable playful activities to ensure that she enjoys their company.
Changing her attitude towards the children will also help the mother because she was worried about her with the ability to tolerate the children.
This is achieved through reminiscence therapy in which she reflects her experiences and creates a new beginning to resist the despair feelings associated with pain and loss of loved ones (Klausner & Alexopoulos, 1999).
Having her children around her is a great advantage as compared to the elderly who are sent to nursing institutions. She can improve her situation by opting to cooperate during her medical procedures. It will reduce the burden and make the daughter warmer towards her.
Changing thoughts and improving Maries skills in dealing with the children is an effective form of cognitive behavioral therapy. When there is harmony, Marie will also learn to participate in the children’s games, and this will distract her from worrying especially around the husband’s death anniversary period.
To overcome the loss of her husband, psychodynamic psychotherapy helps her mourn her past, accept the current situation, and look forward to solving the fears of dependency by accepting her daughters and grandchildren as the only family she has (Klausner & Alexopoulos, 1999).
Cultural influence in taking care of the aged
Many societies associate the responsibility of taking care of an aged mother with her daughters. In Marie’s case, Lisa has more responsibilities since she is unmarried. This culture has affected Marie’s social life although the married sister Toni also chips in to assist during the medical procedure.
Sharing this responsibility fairly between the two daughters is recommended to ensure that one of the caregivers is saved from falling into a depression. In the past women have been tasked with caring for the children.
It resulted in women sacrificing their personal time-cutting on leisure to meet the demands of the family. This is evident in the way Lisa’s social life has been affected. This culture also assumes that the elderly have the responsibility of taking care and playing with the young ones.
In Marie’s case, this does not work well since Marie resists the children. Preparing her is important to promote a harmonious relationship between the children and their grandmother (Henrard, 1996).
Aging is not only a challenge to the elderly, but also to the immediate family members taking care of the aged. It is essential to prepare the aging to ensure that they play their part in adjusting to the new status. It is easy to cooperate with their health givers if they are aware of the physical challenges likely to face them.
Getting familiar with the young ones and bonding reduces stress and anxiety in cases where an aged person loses his/her spouse.
Addiction counseling is important when one is beginning to age to ensure that illness and the frail nature are managed through drugs adequately. Increased anxiety and depression can result in clinical drug abuse, and this can be corrected if preparation is done before the body becomes weak and frail.
Hendry, L. B., & Kloep, M. (2002). Lifespan development: Resources, challenges and risks. London [u.a.: Thomson Learning.
Henrard, J.C. (1996). Cultural problems of ageing especially regarding gender and intergenerational equity. Social Science and Medicine, 43 (5), 667—680.
Klausner, E. J. & Alexopoulos, G. S. (1999). The Future of Psychological Treatments for the Elderly. Mental Health & Aging, 50 (9), 1198-1204.