Author: Alan S. Bellack, Michel Hersen
Series: Comprehensive Clinical Psychology
Understanding the normal physiological changes associated with aging is of essential importance to clinical psychologists who work with the elderly. Issues related to depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders are seen from new perspectives when interpreted in terms of the changes within the body that older clients are likely to experience. Of particular importance is the necessity of distinguishing between the processes of normal aging and alterations in functioning that are the result of specific diseases. Although it is true that older individuals are at heightened risk of developing chronic health problems such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes, these are diseases rather than normal age-related changes. Clinicians should be aware that they need to persist in the treatment of an elderly client rather than assume that the symptoms of chronic disease represent inevitable losses due to aging.
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