What is Aging?
Aging is defined as a stage in which physical and psychological changes occur later in life as adulthood increases. old age in general; It is considered as a period in which different criteria such as physiological changes in our body, psychosocial factors and chronology are taken into account in the definition. Empowerment methods, which stand out in social work disciplines in our country, aim to develop individuals’ inner potentials, highlight their advantages, activate environmental resources, participate in the decision-making process, support their contributions and ensure their participation.
Spiritual Characteristics in Old Age
While getting older brings challenges in life, we can sometimes find it difficult to stay mentally healthy and strong. According to Erik Erikson’s definition of psychosocial development, people are affected by environmental factors, have difficulties in various age houses and psychologically there are tasks that must be overcome. In the 8th stage, which Erikson stated, we enter the stage of despair against self-integrity in the last stage. This phase can trigger a conflict between peace and regret. A person who has completed himself until this time is defined as an individual who has achieved the goals he set before and does not regret what he has done in the past, while an individual who experiences uneasiness is defined as an individual who continues to live with regrets and regrets what he has not done in adulthood.
While old age brings a new environment and living space in our lives, our previous responsibilities and functional abilities may decrease. Aging is a natural process, just like our childhood and adolescence, and because it is a situation that every person experiences, not accepting the old age process can bring depression and anxiety problems with it. We may think that we are not as important as we used to, that we cannot help the people around us, and we may feel lonely. When we experience an event, it is not the event itself that upsets us, but the meaning and thoughts we attribute to the event that upset us. Our thoughts and point of view in the face of the event may have been distorted and may not be correct. For example; A retired individual may think that he cannot help his grandchildren as much as he used to, that they spend little time together, that he cannot be with them, and may enter into a mood of sadness. With his old age, he could not spend a lot of time with his grandchildren as physical activity, and the issues he asked for help may have changed because he grew up with his grandchildren. Listening to grandchildren when they have problems, helping them make decisions, guiding them according to our past experiences is actually a way of helping. Just as the way we help people has changed, that doesn’t mean we are unimportant and can’t help people. Accepting our own limitations, being open to new roles and changing situations and accepting them can also help reduce the anxiety we experience in old age.
With aging, it can also bring a limitation in terms of economic, social, health and physical activity. A retired individual may become lonely and his old friend circle may decrease. In this case, you can spend more time with your family, start new activities or take up hobbies, meet new people and spend time together. If you think you can’t help people as much as before, if you can do volunteer work and help people with your life experiences. If you can’t do as much physical activity as before, you can stay physically active by doing regular walks, yoga, exercises. The important thing is to accept our limitations, find what you can replace the activities you used to do and continue doing it, instead of being sad about the things we couldn’t do with old age. If your work life, your career is a big part of your life and you can’t do it anymore, your self-confidence may drop and you may experience sadness. You can be open to innovations that can replace your business life and try new things until you find a new activity. If you can’t cope with the worries you experience in old age, you can get help from a psychologist to get support from a specialist.
With aging, a slowdown in mobility occurs. Especially people over the age of 60 may stay away from socializing and be alone. Along with these, the death of loved ones or spouse in old age can lead that person to loneliness even more. The changes in these periods of life are difficult times for most people to contend with. There are some ways of coping that can strengthen psychology during these periods. Some of them are:
1.Exercise: With aging, there is also a decrease in physical movement. However, in people who exercise regularly from the beginning of youth and even childhood, physical regression is less in the aging process.
2. Reading the daily newspaper: Many elderly individuals do not follow the agenda very much. On the contrary, following daily life, following politics, following the agenda keeps the person mentally vigorous. It delays dementia.
3. Maintaining the relationship with people:Visiting your old workplace from time to time and socializing with your friends will keep you alive and make you feel fresh.
4. Engaging in voluntary work:Helping people by transferring the experiences you have gained in life at a certain age makes you feel even more of a useful person.
5. Spending time outside: Many elderly people do not want to leave the house much for various reasons. However, going out and wandering provides exposure to many new stimuli. This keeps that person quite ready and fit.
6. Continuing to feed:The most important way to take care of health is to pay attention to the diet in order not to get sick.
7. Chatting with young people:Meeting and communicating with young people encourages them to stay in life.
8. Obtaining a hobby: Especially retired people are more accustomed to producing. Suddenly not continuing production creates a feeling of uselessness. Therefore, there must be an area to deal with.
9. Traveling:Traveling and exploring new places as your economy allows, keeps one’s learning need alive.
10. Visiting the city you live in: In many cities, the elderly have amenities such as free public bus travel. Leaving one’s own neighborhood and moving to another neighborhood increases environmental contact. It keeps such mental functions alive.