Aging may be a particularly difficult time for adults and their families. They may be facing the transition to retirement, dealing with new frailty and medical conditions, confronting grief and loss of partners, family and friends and struggling to find enjoyable, meaningful activities and a purpose in their later years. Therapy focuses on a comprehensive assessment of the individual and family issues. The goal is to facilitate communication and decision-making and create plans to address these difficult life stage transitions with elders and their families.
Aging may require dramatic changes in the family dynamics including the loss of independence for the elder and caretaking responsibilities for family members. The loss of independence in aging not only affects the elder. The family is equivalently challenged. Caregiving can take an enormous emotional and physical toll, particularly when added to the distress and profound sadness of watching a loved one deteriorate. Caregiving can result in strained family relationships and difficult challenges with decision-making. Due to these stressors, the family of the elder is often the hidden and unacknowledged casualty of this life stage.