Seniors

Psychologist and psychoanalyst Erik Erikson wrote about these varying psychosocial stages of human development. People in their 40’s-60’s + sometimes struggle to be generative rather than stagnate. For example, people often like to make a difference in the world through creative and meaningful works that survive long after they have passed on. Seniors could become pessimistic and lose hope that their life situations will improve, particularly with current trends and practices such as self-isolation and physical distancing.

Sources of age-related stress or trauma
Inadequate self-esteem and self-confidence Seniors may become despondent and stressed about the suffering their family members and friends who are away from them may be experiencing.
Grief, loneliness,  fears and uncertainties often worsen with limited physical stamina, cognitive processing issues, and long-term disabilities.
Significant health problems include diseases and anxieties about COVID-19 and its prone variants. Problems include lessening mobility and flexibility with arthritis, cardiac and hypertensive disorders, diabetes mellitus, cancer, heart, lungs, kidneys, intestines, and urinary tract conditions.
Contextual and developmental crises marked by the loss of intimate partners, degenerative health conditions, and loss of work status exacerbate emotional scars and cognitive distortions, heightening risks of self-harming
Confusion about social and personal identities
Inadequate coping skills and independence
Social isolation could have detrimental effects on family relationships and friendships.
Financial instability and uncertainty making it difficult to maintain and develop connections with family members and friends.

You can help, for example, by encouraging and supporting seniors to have a suitable diet and exercise and by physically checking in upon them.  Of course, contact with family members may have positive and negative implications. For example, families can help seniors have a sense of identity, not defined solely by their accomplishments. Seniors may become despondent and stressed about the suffering their family members and friends who are away from them may be experiencing. Secure social connections can help them cope with a loss of social status in their advancing years. Let’s talk!

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