Committed for Better Business

The client, a remodeling contractor, described a breakthrough in my complaint counseling with him. He came to me this morning, while I was having my morning coffee. I am in the middle of the biggest remodeling project of my life! Large parts of the life that I built together with my wife no longer fit. I have to figure out what I can keep as it is, what I need to let go of, and what I need to reshape. I’m going to have to tear down some walls, rip up some rugs, and throw out some obsolete, now useless furniture. But I have to do it in a way that doesn’t destroy anything that holds my life together. So I have to reshape my life to fit new purposes and goals. His most important insight was the last, when he said: Now I know that God led me into this business two years ago, not just to fix up old houses, but to give me the tools to reshape my life after my wife died. Using the metaphor of remodeling, we began to make progress in our sessions together.

Counseling with older adults involves working with grief, the behaviors and emotions that surround a loss, as we will do with grief, the process of readjusting to loss. The therapeutic goal is to help the person recognize a loss and readjust her life to that loss. My focus will be on bereavement care for aging populations, the challenge of providing bereavement care for the elderly (65+), the dynamics of bereavement and bereavement in older adults, and bereavement intervention strategies for the elderly. counselors.

*The Challenge of Grief Care for the Elderly*

Although people over the age of 65 represent only 13% of the US population, in 1994 this group experienced an estimated total of nearly 1.7 million deaths or about 73% of the nearly 2.3 million deaths in the country that year.1 Multiplying those numbers by the number of bereaved people affected by these deaths and the need for bereavement care and counseling is significant. Overall life expectancy in the United States also increased from an average of 47 years in 1900 to 76 years in 1990. At that time, there are 7.8 million widowed women age 65 and older in the US and 1, 5 million surviving men in the same age range. 2 The implication of these data is that surviving spouses, especially women, will live much longer as singles, requiring adjustments in many areas of their lives. A darker statistic, barely recognized by society, is the fact that the elderly lead the nation in suicides. The national average is 12.0 suicides per 100,000, while there are an estimated 24.0 per 100,000 in the 75-84 age group and 27.0 per 100,000 in the 85 or older age group. more.3 Caucasian men age 65 have rates of 32 per 100,000, rising to 67.5 per 100,000 at age 85…much of this is attributed to untreated depression and institutionalization.

A unique feature of older adult counseling is that many have experienced many small deaths throughout their lives. The young elderly (6,574) and the middle elderly (7,584) begin to experience a gradual decline in physical energy and mobility. The very old (over 85 years of age) often experience a decline in mental functioning. Many have lost friends and have few contemporaries to comfort them. The middle-aged and the very old have generally lost important roles in life that gave them meaning. Add to this a major grievance event, such as the death of a spouse or child, and they can experience grief overload. Loneliness, role adjustments, and the anxiety of living alone are significant challenges for older people. Elderly populations are not served by counseling professionals. Our delivery systems focus on office-oriented visits rather than home care outreach models, ignoring the difficulties in transportation and mobility of older people. There is also a need for a paradigm shift from a curative to a preventive model of bereavement care. Mourning looks like a cold bug if you wait a few days, you’ll get over it rather than an infection that needs to be treated aggressively. Due to this myopic view, many cases of simple grief become complicated or

pathological grief.

*Dynamics of Complaint and Grief in Older Adults*

Anyone who has loved someone and then suffered a loss knows the high price of love… the wrong! Some of these losses have been recognized and supported by society, such as the death of grandparents, parents, children or close friends. Other losses, forms of disenfranchised tort, have not been recognized or supported by the community, but are part of and the duration of the tort as primary determinants of whether the tort is normal or abnormal. He identifies four indicators to help counselors identify complicated grievance reactions: chronic grievance that never ends with grievance; delayed grievance inhibited/postponed; exaggerated grievance overwhelmed long after a death; grievance masked symptoms not thought to be related to the loss.6 Using the remodeling metaphor, some people have more ancient resources than others to rebuild their lives after a loss. Others have complicated grief histories, filled with psychosocial, physical, or spiritual challenges that require reconstruction to be done with certain constraints in mind. Physical, mental, financial, and social limitations, especially for elderly clients, may inhibit adjustment to a loss. In such cases, goals should be modified to more modest expectations.

*Bereavement Intervention Strategies for Counselors*

Carrying out a good psychosocial-spiritual evaluation is fundamental in treatment planning: it identifies high-risk factors in complaints and evaluates the quality of old resources that clients have. From the assessment, the counselor gets a good idea of ​​the grief issues a client is facing. The treatment plan should be designed to help the client successfully complete the four tasks of grief: Accepting the reality of the loss, overcoming the pain of grief, adapting to the environment in which the deceased is missing, and emotionally relocating the deceased and move. moving on with life.7 The goal is to help the client work through the grievance to a state of complete grievance, where the person can think about their loss without pain. Therapeutic techniques should be designed to help clients effectively and cognitively process a loss and adjust to a new life. Gestalt empty chair techniques, group therapy, life review, cognitive restructuring and reframing are some of the tools used to help in the grieving process. Family systems approaches lend themselves to working with a bereaved family.

Spiritual considerations should be given a primary place in grief and grievance counseling. Questions of meaning and purpose are central to death, dying, and bereavement. Many supposed worlds of spiritual clients have come crashing down with the death of a loved one. They are deeply disillusioned with a God who allows bad things to happen to good people. The inclusion of a trained pastoral counselor in the counseling process that integrates theology and psychology could be helpful in helping clients reframe their faith after a significant loss. Mobilizing psychosocial-spiritual support for grieving clients is essential. Older clients have multiple needs, requiring a wide range of peer support (grievance support groups/congregational care programs) and professional services (social workers, parish nurses, physicians, clergy, and financial planners). The advisor needs to facilitate the thesis interventions. Conclusion James tells us that religion pure and without blemish before God the Father is this: Visit orphans and widows in their tribulations, and keep oneself unspotted from the world (James 1:27, rsv). For Christians who are serious about their faith, bereavement care is an essential part of our lives and work. Let us console those who die! Online Christian counseling is a good way to get tips.

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