• Feel better, practice positive living.
  • Improve communication with your spouse.
  • Help with change and loss.

Fun and pleasure are important for elderly individuals

music_greatroomAlmost everyone I know is worried about an elderly relative who is living with loneliness, boredom, or the blues. Adults on the go with jobs, travel, and parenting are troubled by thoughts of Grandma or Grandpa at home alone.

Everyday I talk to people in their 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s about their lives. Some are lucky to be blessed with good health, interests they can still enjoy, the ability to walk and drive, and the right mix of social and alone time. Unfortunately, most of my elderly acquaintances report, to varying degrees, “emptiness,” “uselessness,” “long days,” or “monotony.”

As a social worker, I believe we can improve elders’ moods most effectively by creating daily or weekly routines that bring pleasure, fun, and social contact. Young people have school, adults have jobs or child-rearing. What exactly are old people to do all day? Part of the answer is that old people need to get out of the house, be expected somewhere, show up, and engage with the outside world.

Elders also need someone to talk to. It’s therapeutic to share worries and feelings. Professional help can often lead to more positive emotions.

couple_dancing2Couples reduce conflict and tension with counseling

Older couples can benefit from supportive counseling and practical problem-solving. Elderly Services is committed to increasing quality of life and that includes happier marriages for people in all the decades of later life.

Couples may face some of the following challenges as they grow older:

  • Irritabilty as they are home most of the time together;
  • Stress as one cares for the other;
  • Boredom as outside social connections decline;
  • Tension over lifelong differences;
  • Conflicts related to hearing loss, sleeping behaviors, and toileting and incontinence issues;
  • Differences in sexual interest;
  • Disagreements about whether to use helping services.

Contact Joanne Corbett, MSW, executive director at Elderly Services, to learn more about our counseling and social work services for individuals and couples. We are a Medicare participating provider. Call 802.388.3983, or write to us at mail@elderlyservices.org.