Counseling Aging Families

By: Irene Deitch, PhD
Candace Ward Howell, MS
Jon Carlson, Psy.D., Ed.D

Course Outline

This latest monograph in the Family Psychology and Counseling Series examines in detail how elderly persons and their families deal with evolving relational roles, dependence concerns, chronic illness, and institutionalized care. Gender issues among diverse populations are explored, as are intergenerational family dynamics. Special chapters highlight caregiver stress and violence against older persons.

Selected Contents:

  • Women and Men “In the Middle:” Caregiving and Demographic Changes
  • Single Older Women and the Family
  • Later-Life Parenthood
  • Reflections of an Aging Therapist: Professional and Personal
  • Parent and Adult Child: Unresolved Issues of Individuation
  • Couple Therapy With the Intact Caregiver and the Frail Cared-For: A Case Study
  • Separation and Loss in Alzheimer’s Disease
  • The Effect of Parental Illness and Loss on Adult Children
 

About Authors

Irene Deitch, PhD, is a professor of psychology at City University of New York, College of Staten Island. She is a New York state licensed psychologist and a certified family therapist and grief counselor. Dr. Deitch also has a professional practice as a psychotherapist.

Candace Ward Howell, MS, is a counselor at the Lake Geneva Wellness Clinic. She has served as associate editor of Individual Psychology: The Journal of Adlerian Theory, Research, and Practice and is currently book review editor of The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families.

Jon Carlson, Psy.D., Ed.D, is Distinguished Professor at Governors State University in University Park, Illinois and Director of the Lake Geneva Wellness Clinic in Wisconsin. He is also the editor of Individual Psychology: The Journal of Adlerian Theory, Research and Practice and The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families.


Learning Objectives

After completing this course you’ll be able to:

  1. State the significant factor in family ties at any age.
  2. State at what age does the advantage of children become notable.
  3. Describe caregiving data from the San Francisco study.
  4. Define “kinkeepers“.
  5. Describe the price of longevity gains.
  6. State the ratio of disabled persons in a nursing home versus being cared for at home. (U.S.0 Senate Special Committee on Aging, 1991)
  7. State the percent of single mothers and children who live in poverty. (Children’s Defense Fund, 1994)
  8. State the percent of a woman’s life span when she will live without a male mate.
  9. Discuss the life experience of a never-married older woman.
  10. Define “widow inheritance”
  11. Discuss the study by Choi (1991) regarding living arrangements of widowed and divorced racial minorities.
  12. List several factors that contribute to depression in older women.
  13. Discuss the three-generation family.
  14. List the three major risks for deficient parenting.
  15. Define “transitional conflict.”
  16. List 3 issues that emerge between aging parents and adult children.
  17. Define “peripheral” fathers. (Brooks and Gilbert, 1993, et al.)
  18. List several maladaptive techniques that dysfunctional fathers use to reduce psychic stress.
  19. List three experiences that would cause a man to experience a devastating emotional crisis and a drop in status.
  20. Describe the gradual “feminizing” of men according to Jung and Erickson.
  21. Describe the “woman in the middle.
  22. Describe the elder who is usually abused.
  23. Describe spousal abuse when a husband cares for his wife.
  24. Describe the three phases of Alzheimer’s disease.
  25. Describe feelings of caregivers when care is transferred to another caregiver or agency.
  26. List several ways a therapist can maximize help.
  27. Describe 2 stereotypes regarding nursing homes.
  28. List the two obstacles to overcome prior to accepting a nursing home solution.
  29. List the three phases of illness an elderly person and family face.
  30. Describe the three types of conflicts that exist between family members.

Course Contents

  1. Growing Old in Families
  2. Women and Men “In the Middle”: Caregiving and Demographic Changes
  3. Single Older Women and the Family
  4. Later-Life Parenthood
  5. Reflections of a Therapist and Grandparent: Professional and Personal
  6. Parent and Adult Child: Unresolved Issues of Individuation
  7. Missing Fathers: Aging Traditional Men and Familial Estrangement
  8. When Golden Pond is Tainted: Domestic Violence and the Elderly
  9. Separation and Loss in Alzheimer’s Disease: Impact on the Family
  10. Couple Therapy With the Intact Caregiver and the Frail Cared-For: A Case Study
  11. Placement of the Elderly Parent in a Residential Health Care Facility: Impact on the Family
  12. The Effect of Parental Illness and Loss on Adult Children