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Do elderly people ever seek counseling?

Im 19 and love talking to elderly people who are like in there 80s and Im thinking about being a psychologist and think if I become one I want to counsel elderly people who are in pain, afraid of death, lost a spouse, or lonely. I love asking questions about when they where younger and their families. I hear all the time about teen counseling but is there a way I can counsel elderly. Do nursing homes pay for therapist to come by and help them?

14 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I think that those who would benefit the most from counseling, usually don't seek it, and therefore usually don't get it. That includes older folks as well as youger ones. You might identify some such people at nursing homes just by circulating and visiting with people, once you are trained in clinical psychology. It would be nice if you could gain those people's confidence, and help them. You wouldn't get paid for it, though.

    Clinical psychology must be a frustrating field in which to work. So many times there is little in the way of positive results from counseling, and when it is helpful, it is likely to take years of sessions.

  • 7 years ago

    psychologists are supposed to be there to bring out the whys of why a person is having a problem. Everyone by age of 80 knows why they are in pain, afraid of death, lost a spouse or are lonely, so they would not need a psychologist. Plus your duties as a psychologist wouldn't be to "ask questions about when they were younger and about their families" but you could find out that information if your interest were more into and family tree research. You got the wrong impression of counseling the elderly.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Some elderly people may seek counselling, but those in my peer

    group tend to share their innermost thoughts with others of a

    similar age.

    If you wish to become a Psychologist then go ahead and take your

    degree or whatever, but I feel that you would need to have some life

    experience of your own before you counsel others.

    I would not share my fears, hopes, aspirations with a professional

    stranger, my closest friends have more empathy and have often

    travelled a similar road and so would have some understanding of

    a situation.

    If you wish to help the elderly in nursing homes, then why not become

    a volunteer helper? I doubt whether many nursing homes have funds to

    pay for a therapist.

  • P.L.
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    If you have an empathy with older people you might succeed in the type of work you hope to train for but doing that work is a long way away at the moment. At 19 you would have no way of discussing with an older person the fear of death, loss of a spouse and probably will have no experience of being truly lonely. These things come with experience and it is virtually impossible to discuss with others what you have never experienced yourself.

    The fact that you have the desire to aim for this kind of work is good and it's also good that someone young enjoys talking to elderly people because many young people today have no patience, whatsoever, with the older generations.

    I do not know whether nursing homes pay for therapists to go to see their residents. Speaking generally, it is more likely than younger people will need counselling and therapy than older people will. Older people led more gentle lives but worked through hard times with larger families on small budgets. They are the age group who learnt to cope with difficulties, shortage of money, little help from governments etc. These are the survivors. It is the younger ones who have had it much easier who don't know how to cope when times get rough. We just know how to struggle through without bothering other people.

    However, by the time you will be qualified and looking for clients, you will be dealing with the generation that came after us. Your clients will be the middle aged of today and they are the first generation to find coping difficult because coping skills have slowly been lost.

    Because you are so young yourself you will find that your own ideas, beliefs, wishes and fears will change. Yes, you will also have fears - we all do. You will think differently, in 20 years from now, about many things and might not wish to do this work by then. Whatever happens, I hope that the future holds something good for you which will be of help to others also.

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  • 7 years ago

    Absolutely. I'm a retired geriatric counselor. I worked with youngsters for 26 years, and then with senior adults for 19 years.

    I worked for a social agency.

    In order to do such work, you would need to get a college diploma, preferably majoring in psychology or sociology. Some schools have an undergraduate degree in social work.

    You could then go on to receive a Masters degree in psychology or social work. If it's in psychology, you would most likely be in private practice or in a hospital.

    If it's in social work you have many choices. You could work in a social agency, nursing home, dept. of adult services, hospital, senior centers, hospice care, and many other venues where you would find seniors.

    As a social worker, you could be a case manager or a clinical social worker, or both.

    A case manager tends to evaluate a senior's needs, and find the resources to fill those needs. They may hook the senior up with home care, cleaning service, shopping, transportation, a volunteer visitor, a handyman, financial help, etc.

    A clinical social worker usually needs a certificate from the State, and they do counseling.

    Elderly people are very much in need of counseling. They are going thru a time of life when losses are prevalent. They lose spouses, they lose close friends and family, they lose their health and with it their independence. They lose their homes, etc. This does not mean that all seniors need counseling. But there are enough who do.

    If you are willing to go thru the years of education, and if you are truly interested, I then think you will find this a very fulfilling career.

    Source(s): retired geriatric counselor
  • Dede H
    Lv 5
    7 years ago

    In my opinion most elderly are better adjusted than people who are just starting out in life. After all we are the survivors, we have dealt with many traumas in our lives and still have continued to adapt and learn the best ways for each of us to carry on through every terrible that that has happened none of them being expected.

    When I was a little girl I had nightmares about losing my teeth, divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure, being laid off through no fault of my own. All of these experiences have happened to me, they were terrifying, and caused many problems with depression that seemed unending. Now when something bad happens I can easily say I have gone through worse than this and survived, and little by little the anxiety subsides and I survive once again.

    I have gone to counseling many times over the years, any may go again if needed. I would not focus on the elderly as a client base, they are the least likely to need counseling.

  • 7 years ago

    I understand your love of talking/spending time with senior citizens/elderly people. Us younger people can learn so much from them; sometimes not in the way they think so either ! They can also be very witty and hilarious as these ones have learnt from their mistakes (and those of other people) and can see the funny side of their learning experiences.

    I don't think though that elderly people in nursing homes need specialised counsellors. As a nurse and more recently a volunteer in services for senior citizens and elderly people I can tell you that the elderly are more comfortable in telling their secrets and and regrets to those who are volunteers and those who help them with their activities of daily living (ADLs). They seem more comfortable with people in those roles, as with formal counselling sessions and visits with social workers they tend to clam up. It is just something I and others who work with this age group have noticed.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Not for me. I find comfort and understanding through meditation, talking to others my age and dealing with life as I always have-don't worry about something that hasn't happened yet.

    There are enough real and present dangers to take the joy out of life without worrying about how I feel when bad things happen. I accept whatever comes the best way I know how. I've had nearly a whole life to figure out the best move. Some might need assistance to figure it all out, but I like to face a challenge head-on.

  • 7 years ago

    All people of any age have problems from time to time that could use some counselling.

  • 7 years ago

    What do you know at 19 about death and dying....Your life experience is so low that I guess you don't realize that it takes a great deal of time to learn about what you think you are qualified to talk about. Listening to old tales...anyone can do.

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