Online Therapy Blog

Working as an online therapist with older adults in South Africa

There are several contributing factors in the decline of older adults’ mental health, including, existing health conditions, previous traumatic experiences, retirement and abandonment, the decline in physical capabilities, loss of loved ones, social Isolation, and even abuse. Abuse can include physical, verbal, psychological, financial, and sexual abuse, as well as neglect, loss of dignity and respect.

Furthermore, situations such as bereavement or a decline in socioeconomic position with retiring are more likely to occur in older people. Most of these challenges might cause psychological anguish in seniors. Seniors rely on social connections and intimate personal relationships for support and in turn suffer from broken personal ties and loneliness.

The challenges older adults face.

Older adults usually face a whole range of challenges:

  • They often feel alienated from the way people are living – especially as a result of changes in their environment that they find difficult to adapt to.
  • Sometimes they have to face the reality of living away from their children – even more so when their children emigrate to another country.
  • Many older adults struggle with death anxiety.
  • Older adults often have to deal with loss.
  • Elderly adults often experience a loss of will to live.
  • And older adults sometimes struggle with self-care and cognitive dysfunctions.

The role of the online therapist in working with older adults

An online therapist can help older adults in several ways, amongst others in…

  • Dealing with symptoms of anxiety
  • Improving memory, language, and other cognitions
  • Mastering relaxation and other mindfulness techniques
  • Overcoming Death Anxiety
  • Managing Grief and Dealing with Loss
  • Restoring a Positive Sense of Self
  • Overcoming Depression and Low Moods

If working with an online therapist, the elderly can feel understood, supported, and valued. They can be encouraged to and helped to outline their problems, express their feelings, and receive validation for the realistic pressures faced. An online therapist can help them to clarify issues that are reported. He/she can also work on self-esteem to help older adults restore a positive sense of self.

You May Also Like…