Psychotherapy for the Elderly During Covid-19
"The Little Boy and the Old Man
Said the little boy, "Sometimes I drop my spoon."
Said the old man, "I do that too."The little boy whispered, "I wet my pants."
I do that too," laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, "I often cry."
The old man nodded, "So do I."
But worst of all," said the boy, "it seems
Grown-ups don't pay attention to me."
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
I know what you mean," said the little old man."
Encapsulated in this quote are some of the issues that the elderly, such as those in their seventies, eighties, and nineties, must cope with. For most, aging brings with it diminished physical strength and capability, loss of loved ones, and feelings of no longer being relevant or connected to the real world and fears of being ignored. What is also brought with them into old age are the many unresolved conflicts and struggles from earlier in their lives. The result of this is that many elderly people become depressed. As with many people who are younger and depressed, they attempt to self-medicate their problems through alcohol and drug abuse. Yes, the aged are capable of becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol and it's insidious because people tend to incorrectly believe that it's not possible. Therefore, they drink and abuse drugs secretly and alone. The problem is now worsened by the isolation caused by the Coronavirus. Family, loved ones and friends are reluctant or unable to visit for fear of spreading this disease. So, what can help?
For many years it was believed that psychotherapy could not work for the elderly because they are set in their ways and find therapy stigmatizing because that was the attitude towards psychology when they were young. However, attitudes towards mental illness have changed throughout society and that includes older persons. Today, many older people are more than willing to enter psychotherapy. They are seeking psychological help late in life. They want help in coping with age and their relationships with family and of still unresolved issues from the past. One of the great pieces of technology we now have available to both family, friends, and psychotherapists as well as the elderly is Facetime, Zoom, and Skype. Everyone can visit without endangering anyone. This includes making psychotherapy available to the elderly.
The fact is that it's never too late for psychotherapy just as it's never too late to learn new things.
Help is available. I provide video therapy for aged clients and their families using either Zoom, Facetime, or Skype. My email is [email protected]
I can also be found on my website where there is more information: http://www.allanschwartztherapy.net