I’ve never had much to do with my grandparents on either side – they either live on the other side of the world with our extended family, or they’ve passed away. To me, they’ve always been a distant entity that doesn’t warrant a great deal of thought.
So it was interesting for me to hear my friend, Chloe, expressing her concern for her grandmother’s wellbeing over brunch this morning. She said she thinks her grandma, who she’s close to, might be experiencing depression following a recent decline in her mobility.
Specifically, she’d been required to take a driving test due to her age. The outcome was that, on account of her deteriorating eyesight, her license was not renewed. It’s understandable that she’d be taking this hard, as it marks a significant life change involving further reductions to her already rapidly decreasing independence – which, according to Chloe, she has always prided herself on.
Chloe was wondering if I had any recommendations for Mornington Peninsula psychological counselling services, given that I work in allied health. This seems kind of dumb now, but I’d never really considered how the processes of advanced ageing might, for some people, create stress and strain. I suppose this lack of thought on my part comes from not having many elders in my life to relate to.
Incidentally, I was interacting just recently with a liaison psychiatrist, Mornington being close to a number of private hospitals who use both their services and mine. From what I understand, this type of psychiatrist specialises in assessing and treating hospital in-patients experiencing mental health difficulties related to being hospitalised, new conditions, responses to medications and so on. This includes the emergence of depression and anxiety disorders.
Although Chloe’s grandma isn’t in hospital, it kind of relates, as her apparent depression is clearly related to a physical health situation. While she won’t be able to access liaison psychiatry specifically, it seems she could almost certainly benefit from seeing a mental health care professional.