Residential and Financial Concerns
attitudes and behaviors of many seniors are
oftentimes driven by an unspoken fear of
When parents do not feel that their children
have made wise decisions for themselves, they
are naturally hesitant to turn over financial
control to them.
It was not uncommon for senior women to have
deferred to their husbands’ judgment when
choices were being made about financial and
property issues. If now widowed, they may feel
more comfortable acting in accordance with
someone else’s say-so for important
It may be illuminating to discover what
memories a senior has of his or her own parent’s
convalescence. What would they, as caregivers,
have done differently? Had they promised
themselves they would never go to a “nursing
When a senior is facing the prospect of
moving to a continuing care or assisted living
community, speak to them about what they think
this will be like. Many will have a stark vision
of facilities from many years ago when options
were relatively limited.
Seniors will experience good days and bad
days due to effects of pain, adjustment to
medications and or emotional issues.
Seniors who seem short-tempered may be
responding to the frustrating lack of control of
not being able to think as quickly, and remember
as well, as they once had.
Psychology of Seniors
Understand and be prepared to recognize the
issues that trigger depression and anxiety for
Be sensitive to anniversary depressions.
Birthdays, anniversaries, and major holidays
evoke memories of those who have passed, and
For most, losing control of physical functioning
is difficult. Experiencing the steady loss of
friends and relatives leads to sadness and
isolation. For those with dementia, witnessing
the gradual loss of one’s own self can be the
If a senior is grieving the loss of a loved one
they think died yesterday, even if that person
actually died years ago, their grief will be as
deep and painful as though it just happened.
This is legitimate suffering and must be handled
Oftentimes, a parent will have a set of
expectations of how they deserve to be treated
by their children based on the sacrifices they
made on behalf of their own parents. When
children do not meet these expectations,
resentment, depression and various forms of
acting out behavior are the result.
harbor lifelong prejudices that were carefully
concealed. It can be quite distressing for a
caregiver to discover that their parent has “all
of a sudden” developed a shocking taste for
racial bias. The gradual loss of mental
functioning allows one to become
“dis-inhibited”; thoughts, formerly suppressed
due to social constraints, are now out in the
open. This applies for latent sexual desires as
well, especially for men.