Maxine Gower, LCSW, NCPsyA - Boulder Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy in person, via skype, or by phone. Please email or call (303) 875-5046

Counseling for Aging Parents and their Caregivers in Boulder

Aging is a fact of life that one has to relate to throughout the life cycle. Though this article is primarily about issues pertaining to the elderly, one's age can be challenging to contend with at any time. Teenagers complain about aging and not having accomplished enough by a certain age. Menopause and the inability "to mother" is yet another example of the challenges of aging.

There are ages at which one is expected to have achieved certain goals such as graduating high school or college, mastered a skill or be earning a living. Many people do not fit into these cultural "norms" and because of this, there can be accompanying feelings of inadequacy, failure or self hate for not having achieved some goal by a certain age. A mid-life crisis can be an example of expectations that do not meet reality.

Being elderly and less able to do the things that are deemed to have value can be a hard adjustment for many people. Losing capacities, abilities and functioning can lead to feelings of dispensability, depression and even despair. Loss of dignity, as bodies and minds no longer do what they once did, can be hard to bear. Loss of place, ability to drive and making decisions can herald the end to life as one once knew it.

As we age, talking can be a very powerful tool. Feeling seen, heard, valued and understood can make an essential difference to an aging person. Coming to terms with losses of various sorts and the inevitability of death can feel like a relief and a release when talked about. Talking with someone can allay feelings of isolation and loneliness due to loss of friends and family who are no longer around or available for contact. This can also take the pressure of aging parents off the caregivers on whom the elderly may rely.

As a mental health practitioner, with experience working with the elderly, aging parents and their families and caretakers, I offer counseling/psychotherapy, advocacy and case management. I work with people who have dementia and Alzheimer's disease, at their homes, in facilities or at my Boulder office.

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