This is an area of relatively new therapeutic exploration which is bound to become more important as clinical problems amongst elderly people increase with longevity. A range of groups has been found useful in helping the aged to face their problems, improve their functioning, and feel happier about themselves. Just as elderly people are a varied population with many different needs, catered for in a wide range of different settings, so the groups vary widely. They include groups offering support, activity, psychoeducation, problem-solving, and insight, and they take place in all the settings in which elderly people are to be found. Common themes include the ubiquity of loss, the acceptance of death, and the value of humour in lightening mood. Finally, the healing power of human communities is clearly seen throughout the lifespan, and it generates hope while life lasts. (iS144,,145)
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For centuries, ever since the legendary Ponce de Leon went searching for the elusive Fountain of Youth, people have been looking for ways to slow down the aging process. Medical science has made great strides in keeping people alive longer by preventing and curing disease, and helping people to live healthier lives. Average life expectancy keeps increasing, and most of us can look forward to the chance to live much longer lives than our ancestors.