The Elderly

What is it

Australia’s population like the rest of the world is ageing, and according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, it is anticipated that by 2064 about 9.6 million people will be aged 65 and over, and 1.9 million aged 85 and over. Therefore, people are living longer, and as health problems are cumulative throughout life, they are more likely to be present also in older age. Currently, older adults are defined as those adults over the age of 65 years. A common myth associated with ageing refers to Depression and Anxiety being seen as a normal part of ageing which should be expected. This is not true, and interestingly, most older adults seem to report higher levels of well-being than younger adults. 

What does it include

For some people however, growing older can be anxiety provoking. Depression, Anxiety, Grief, Psychosis, Adjustment and Death Anxiety are some common psychological problems that can present at any stage of life including in older age, and can adversely affect physical health and ability to function, especially in older adults. Some late-life problems that can result in depression and anxiety or difficulty in coping include acute and chronic physical health problems, insomnia, changes in memory and memory loss, caring for a spouse with a physical disability or dementia, changes in social support, grieving the death of loved ones including pets, adjusting to life changes, and managing conflict with family members.

How can a psychologist help

Psychologists play an important role in addressing the mental health needs and supporting the strengths of our growing population of older adults. The research shows that Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is the most efficacious approach for assisting older adults and the elderly with symptoms of anxiety and depression. CBT can help to reduce the intensity of symptoms via education, learning to relax, behavioural activation, problem solving, identifying and developing more realistic and helpful interpretations of events and thinking styles, and exposure therapy. Interpersonal Psychotherapy has also been shown to be effective for addressing interpersonally related problems, and life changes and transitions that can be associated with later life. 

References

​Australian Bureau of Statistics. http://www.aihw.gov.au/ageing/about/
 
Carstensen, Laura L.; Isaacowitz, Derek M.; Charles, Susan T. (1999). “Taking time seriously: A theory of socioemotional selectivity”. American Psychologist, 54 (3): 165-181.
 
Hinrichsen, G.A. (2008).  Interpersonal psychotherapy for late life depression:  Current status and new applications.  Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 26, 263-275. 
Vaillant, G.E. (2003). Ageing Well: Guideposts to a Happier Life. Little, Brown & Company. New York, USA.

If you require additional information, please call our office on 07 3256 6320. Our mental health focused reception staff will be only too happy to assist you with your enquiry about our service and can suggest the most suitable Psychologist for your concern.

Ways We Can Help

Clinical Psychology

Child & Family Psychology

Counselling Services

Online Counselling

Corporate Wellbeing

Psychologists who work in this service

Lindy Devenish
Lindy Devenish
Psychologist
Lea Ser
Lea Ser
Psychologist
Joshua T King
Joshua T King
Clinical Psychologist Registrar
Emma Jephcott
Emma Jephcott
Clinical Psychologist Registrar
Dr Elizabeth Blackwood
Dr Elizabeth Blackwood
Psychologist
Brittany Safonoff
Brittany Safonoff
Neurofeedback Technician/ Psychology Assistant
Kristie Clarke
Kristie Clarke
Senior Clinical Psychologist
Tim Jauncey
Tim Jauncey
Senior Clinical Psychologist
Jasmin Singh
Jasmin Singh
Counselling Endorsed Psychologist
Dr Alessia Coelho
Dr Alessia Coelho
Counselling Endorsed Psychologist