Cultures throughout the world view the aging process different. Here in the United States, as people age, we tend to place these folks in nursing homes or other supportive care facilities to meet their needs. However, other cultures keep their family members in their homes or hold elders in high esteem due to their wisdom. No perspective is perfect or better, this information is to solely note the differences among culture perspectives.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention indicate in their article that 20% of people 50 years old and older experience some type of mental health issue. As baby boomers continue to age and our general population ages, this is a large number of people who need mental health support.
Effects of Aging on Mental Health
A person experiences many changes as they age. Sometimes, there are the changes in cognition and memory abilities as one ages. Other times, an individual’s body may lose overall strength and endurance capabilities as one ages. Read Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comments here on his personal aging journey here. Another point is as one ages so to do others around them. This can lead to grief and loss throughout the lifespan as people pass away.
Consequently, all these pieces can come together and effect a person’s mental health. The challenges with memory and/or loss of loved ones can impact a person’s self-esteem and confidence as they fight for some level of independence in life. Additionally, when someone notices changes in their body structure or muscle abilities, their sense of helplessness may increase. Aging has a unique relationship with mental health.
How Do We Age Properly?
Is there a way to age properly? In most cases, fighting the aging process only adds stress to a person’s life. To counter this, acceptance of the natural aging process can decrease stress in one’s life. Acceptance can decrease levels of cortisol and adrenaline ,which our bodies only need intermittently. Below are some other tips on how to support health and wellness as one ages.
- Staying physically active
- Routinely engaging the brain
- Keeping connection with those around you
- Obtaining routine sleep
- Eating healthy
Individual Counseling to Support the Aging Process
As noted above, as a person ages, there are many changes throughout their lives. These changes can occur both internally and externally. Finding a counselor near you that has experience supporting people in this process is paramount if you are seeking support.
Furthermore, individual counseling can act as a support for caregivers themselves. Caregiving takes energy, effort, and mental bandwidth. This can then take away from other aspects life. Working with an individual counselor can act as a great support to those in the caregiver role.
Individual Counselor in South Denver
At Revitalize Mental Health PLLC, we have supported many people throughout life’s transitions, aging included. See how working with a counselor near you can either support you in the aging process or be a support for someone providing care to those who are aging. Submit a form here to start the process!