On any given day, seniors may experience a wide range of emotional feelings – sadness, anger, loneliness, worry, and frustration. Each of these emotional feelings finds expression in some form of behavioral response. While people of all ages experience emotional stress, problems affecting seniors are unique. It is seniors who deal with emotional stressors in the midst of major life changes, declining physical health, limited financial resources and minimum peer and family support systems.
Changes in activities of daily living; declining social, physical and occupational functioning, all impact seniors’ quality of life and often times seniors’ mental health and cognitive abilities. Having sound mental health as an adult does not make an individual immune from mental health problems later in life. Many seniors suffer from symptoms of anxiety, panic disorders, disease, depression and other mood disturbances.
Unusual changes in mood, personality, personal care habits, social relationships, physical conditions, and mental alertness, may indicate the need to consult a behavioral health professional.
The behavioral health professionals which include psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, mental health counselors and geriatric specialists are trained to provide programs and services which promote healthy aging and optimal mental health for seniors. Seniors are not alone in the struggle to maintain wholesome, healthy, satisfying experiences in later life. Behavioral health professionals are committed to active partnerships with seniors.
Behavioral health professionals also understand that emotional recovery for many seniors is a spiritual journey. Pastoral counseling services are another valued source of intervention. Church and parish counseling programs with licensed and clinically trained professionals are able to integrate the strengths and traditions of religious life with clinical knowledge and skill.