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THE ELDERLY

The following excerpt is from the self help
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.


The role of the elders in our society has changed dramatically in the last 30 years. Physically, many are in their own living spaces instead of being in a home with their children and grandchildren. They have the money to live by themselves that they did not have years ago. Their children/ grandchildren often have less money, for there has been a significant shift in disposable income toward senior citizens in the past 30 years. The gain in autonomy for senior citizens, on the one hand, has been a boon for their mental health. On the other hand, they have not all been successful at finding a meaningful life away from children and grandchildren. This has caused them much distress, unhappiness and poor health. (The down-side for their children's families has been the loss of another parenting figure for children, the loss of household help and the loss of money.)


Families in therapy together? Yes, often the most effective treatment for some or all family members is family therapy.

For those getting to be very old, it is a major difficult step to realize that their path is to be "selfish and self-centered" as they review what has happened in their lives. Some of them ask the question, "Why am I still here?" The answer (from a higher-self/reincarnation framework) could be couched in the phrase growth opportunities:


"You have no excuse now for failing to examine many of your old ideas and beliefs, because you don't have to perform for others now. Therefore, you are freer to explore new ways of thinking and feeling. You have the opportunity to let go of judgments, to be present in the moment (because you don't have to go elsewhere), to decide to love the people around you no matter what, to be exactly who you are (i.e., be authentic), and to be grateful."


All of the above are traits commonly exhibited by contented people. The elderly, being autonomous with time on their hands, have many personal growth opportunities.** This makes their higher selves jump for joy in anticipation. On the other hand, growth is often difficult and the elderly might like to utter, along with the rest of us, "more @#$%^ growth opportunities."


Did God or your-higher-self select your family as your best teachers? If you are still bothered by a few family members, perhaps you haven't learned all that they have to teach.

More Excerpts This Chapter
   ARE 97% OF FAMILIES NEUROTIC?
   TRAUMATIZING CHILDREN - 97% OF THEM?
   ARE WE REALLY HUMANE?
   EFFECTIVE PARENTING
   OUR CURRENT FAMILIES BRING OUT OUR SKEWNESS
   MOTHERS CAN BE SEXIST TOO
   MANY MEN STILL ABDICATE THEIR PARENTING ROLES
   WORKING MOMS - ARE THEIR KIDS OK?
   LATCHKEY CHILDREN DON'T DO AS WELL
   THE SEARCH FOR APPROVAL
   THE ELDERLY


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