There are many experiences in later life which may produce difficult or painful feelings:
- tensions in relationships
- the illness or death of someone close to you
- your own illness or disability
- coping with the differences retirement might bring
- isolation and loneliness
- the challenge of moving into residential care
- struggling with thoughts and feelings about the past, present and future
Sometimes the changes to your role in life and your sense of self-worth, which growing older may bring, can be difficult and confusing. You may find yourself struggling with depressive or anxious feelings which can be hard to express to those around you.
A counselling relationship can provide valuable and confidential support at such times. Counselling provides a regular time in the week when you can begin to explore these feelings. Counselling provides a space where you can talk to someone about your concerns and emotional difficulties, someone trained and skilled in listening and helping you clarify your thoughts and feelings, which you may not be able to discuss with anyone else.
Counselling can help you to feel less isolated, can enrich existing relationships, or help you adjust to the loss of others. Your counsellor will not give you advice, but will work with you to make those changes that are possible and develop understanding of yourself and your life.
Appreciation of counselling from a former client:
“What felt particularly helpful was the opportunity to talk very openly to someone who listened very carefully. It helped me to focus my thoughts. It taught me not to sweep things under the carpet.”
Counselling for people from black and minority ethnic communities
We also have a designed service for older people from black and minority ethnic communities, including refugees; and may be able to provide counselling in your first language. Whether you have grown up in the UK, or moved here at some later stage in life, there may be difficulties to face as you get older.
You may have experienced painful or traumatic losses, and may be struggling to come to terms with ageing in a country not your own. The opportunity to explore your feelings safely, and to receive this support in your first language, may be an extremely valuable experience.
Counselling for people with dementia
A further part of the Counselling Service provides emotional support for older people with early stage dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. A diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s can be a very difficult and painful event, and counselling can provide an essential support at this time.
We can also provide counselling for people who are concerned about memory loss, whether or not dementia has been formally diagnosed, and who may be struggling with the impact of cognitive changes and losses, or the fear of such losses.
Equally, if you are the carer, partner or close family member of someone with dementia, counselling may be a valuable source of help and support.
We also have a group therapy service, which provides another kind of therapeutic support. Groups can be helpful for anyone, including those who find difficulty in speaking in front of others, or have problems in relationships, or feel depressed or isolated. Through meeting with others on a regular basis, deep and lasting change is possible at any stage of life. Sharing with other people can be a powerful agent for change: personal concerns, conflicts and problems can be explored in an atmosphere of trust and confidentiality.
A group consists of up to eight people members, plus a group conductor, who meet on a weekly basis.
About the service
The Age UK Camden Counsellors are members of recognised counselling and psychotherapy regulatory bodies and abide by their individual Ethical Frameworks for Good Practice.
- The service is open to men and women aged 55 and over living in the London Borough of Camden, of all ethnic and cultural groups, and those who identify as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
- The service is free, and all information is confidential to the Counselling Service.
- Sessions last for 50 minutes, once a week; and home visits can be arranged if you have serious mobility problems.
The Counselling Service will normally be able to offer you an initial appointment within four weeks of your contacting the service.
Age UK Camden
1-6 Tavistock Square
Main office line: 020 7239 0400
Fax: 020 7383 2550
Office opening hours are:
Monday – Friday, 9.15am – 5.15pm