Human beings are born, live and die. People usually go through certain life cycles throughout their lives that generate a series of questions, such as “How old will I live?”, “How will I develop in the future when I am an elderly person?”, “How will my parents Will you be in a few years?” In this way, the fear of physical and mental illness is also included in the thoughts and concerns of many young people who consider old age as a complex period to overcome.
However, there is an approach that is especially concerned with the treatment of important problems of older people. In this Psychology-Online article, we will give you information about the Psychology of Aging: Importance and Functions .
What is the psychology of aging
The psychology of aging or psychogerontology is the branch of psychology that is in charge of the study and approach of psychiatric pathologies in the period of old age . As a general rule, its objective is to prevent mental alterations and/or disorders during this period.
To achieve this, the psychology of aging is mainly based on several theoretical frameworks that have considerable validity in the face of possible problems that arise in old age.
Importance of the psychology of aging
As we mentioned earlier, the psychology of aging offers the possibility of preventing mental pathologies that can be triggered at certain moments in adult life. One of the most important aspects to highlight is the fact that the psychology of aging does not only apply to older adults, but can also be addressed to people who intend to avoid future mental alterations caused by organic issues or the passing of time. time.
In this sense, each person’s life experiences should not be left aside, since the symptoms of some mental disorders can be directly linked to these experiences. If you want to know more about cognitive skills, you can consult the article Cognitive skills: what they are, types, list and examples.
Functions of the psychology of aging
Below you will find the main functions and/or uses of the psychology of aging:
Prevention of mental pathologies
Mental disorders can arise at any time in life. However, older adults may develop symptoms that are more intense and lead to a deterioration in quality of life. For this reason, one of the goals of the psychology of aging is to provide tools that avoid unpleasant consequences in this period of time.
To achieve this, lectures, workshops and/or courses are usually given in which the focus is placed on the diversity of tools that have considerable utility for the development of everyday life.
Approach to mental pathologies
The psychology of aging also intervenes in the problems related to the mental health of people of advanced age. For this, psychotherapeutic sessions are carried out in which the difficulties that the person manifests are punctually worked, taking into account their circumstances and personal qualities. This can include psychiatric diagnoses or malaise that develop over time, according to each person’s life cycle.
Likewise, a follow -up of the patient’s condition is usually carried out through consultations with a psychiatrist in cases that require medication to combat some symptoms. However, the psychology of aging takes into account biological aspects of the person, as there may be other problems at this stage in addition to psychological factors.
Development of intellectual functions
Over the years, people gradually lose the ability to mentally resolve certain situations, such as those in which mathematics or logic are applied, among others. When diseases that affect memory arise, such as Alzheimer’s , one of the symptoms is the loss of information about the past.
For this reason, the psychology of aging tries to avoid and/or delay the deterioration of memory through therapeutic tools, such as reasoning exercises, the solution of practical activities, etc.
In many cases, the elderly person’s family has concerns about their physical and mental health. In this sense, the psychology of aging includes dealing with the patient’s family members in its treatment to provide an adequate environment in which to develop.
In this way, a network of emotional containment will be formed with beneficial effects for the patient.