Coping Skills For The Elderly
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Coping skills are especially important for an older adult, with the number of changes that he has to go through in life, ranging from deteriorating health conditions, loss of a spouse, children leaving home, retirement, isolation, and the worse of them all, institutionalization.
There are a number of elderly citizens who cannot afford to retire from work, and are faced with challenging situations like stereotypical attitudes and discriminatory practices at the workplace. Others find it extremely hard to find work, and become more depressed and isolated in the bargain.
A number of colleges are providing special classes for older students these days, usually taught by teachers who belong to the same age group. Surprisingly, the older students are extremely motivated and do quite well in school, and rarely have problems like adjusting with the younger students in class. On the part of the educational institutions, it is helpful if certain special arrangements are made for these elderly students, like easy parking, better lighting, help for those with hearing or vision problems, extra help with studies and ample security.
It must be kept in mind that usually senior citizens are embarrassed to ask for help and are not that comfortable with the idea of being counseled, hence it is important that their doctors, family members and friends make them feel comfortable and offer a good support system. Counseling an elderly must always be done respectfully, with special emphasis on their strengths and not their shortcomings. They must be encouraged to be more independent and be involved in making decisions regarding their own lives.
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