As we get older, we may go through a lot of changes—death of loved ones, retirement, stressful life events, aging and geriatric issues or medical problems. It’s normal to feel uneasy, stressed, or sad about these changes. After adjusting, many older adults feel well again. Aging is a natural process that may present challenges for some individuals and their families.
Although many older adults look forward to moving from middle age into their later years, it may be difficult for others to adjust. All adults may experience health issues and stress as they approach and pass middle age, and the support of a therapist or other mental health professional may help ease the transition. Most older adults will experience some changes in cognition, but this is a normal part of the aging process. Researchers have found that healthy older adults often experience mild decline in the areas of:
- Visual and verbal memory
- Visuospatial abilities
- Immediate memory, or the ability to name objects
- Hearing and vision
- Bodily strength
- Appetite and energy level.
Older adults often experience mild mental decline as they grow older, but some adults may be affected by dementia, which can lead to significant impairment in function and may influence the development of conditions such as depression, paranoia, and anxiety.
- Sexual dysfunction
- Sleep problems
- Behavioral concerns
- High suicide rates
- Alcohol and substance dependency