Many of us assume older couples who’ve been together for decades have found contentment in one another. But that’s not always true. Since 1990, the divorce rate has doubled for those over 50 and tripled for those over 65. Decreased physical intimacy, poor adjustment to retirement, financial stresses, empty nest syndrome, and chronic illness are all driving rates of “gray divorce” to record highs. More Boomers, who now expect to live well into their 80s, are opting out of dissatisfying relationships. This workshop looks at the unique stresses of troubled older couples. You’ll learn how to:
- Modify therapy techniques for use with older couples, including check-ups to align perspectives and expectations
- Facilitate the processing of loss through mutual commiseration and compassion
- Explore whether each spouse’s values and hopes at this time in their life are supported by the relationship
- Support couples in setting new boundaries and expectations with children, grandchildren, and extended family members
Barry Jacobs, PsyD, is a Principal for Health Management Associates, and the author of The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers. Julia Mayer, PsyD, cowrote AARP Meditations for Caregivers with Jacobs and has a private practice in Media, PA.