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|Case Study - Page 5|
My approach to Steve's memory issues was focused and optimistic because he had the personal resources to remediate his memory deficits. Learning strategies to adapt to memory loss lifted his mood as it helped him continue functioning well in his pastoral role.
I agree with Hargrave's viewpoint that, as psychotherapists, we have much to offer our older clientele to aid them with the realities of irreversible age-related loss. However, I'm also aware of the growing and substantial research literature indicating that the general perception that there's inevitable loss of memory and intellect as we age simply is not accurate.
In fact, the human mind is quite capable of leveraging adaptive processes to preserve intellectual function--even at an advanced age. There are many of us who'll live beyond our eighties or even nineties and will still possess cognitive resilience. This outcome depends not only on our inherited biology, but also on our ability to recruit latent resources and sustain intellectual function even in our later years.
Robert Hill, Ph.D., A.B.P.P., has studied aging internationally through a Fulbright Fellowship at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. He's the author of six books, including Seven Strategies for Positive Aging and Cognitive Rehabilitation in Old Age. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terry Hargrave, Ph.D., is a professor of counseling at West Texas A & M University. He's the author of numerous articles and nine books, including Strength and Courage for Caregivers and Loving Your Parents When They No Longer Love You. Contact: email@example.com.
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