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Helping an Aging Parent Cope with Retirement

By , 5:57 pm on

New jobs, getting married and having children are only a few of the many important milestones in life. While these transitions can bring great joy, they can also be difficult to adjust to. At Home Care Assistance of Lincoln, we wanted to talk about one life transition that is especially difficult for seniors to cope with: retirement.

Retirement is supposed to be a carefree time where seniors can follow their passions and dreams. Unfortunately, for many, retirement comes along with feelings of inadequacy as seniors start to believe they are no longer needed. In addition, the lack of a regular schedule can lead to boredom, as well as feelings of loneliness and depression. If you have an aging parent or loved one who is about to or has recently retired, there are a few steps you can take to help them with this life transition.

Community Involvement

When working, your parents are serving a purpose, helping to maintain their self esteem and personal worth. As a result, it is important to encourage retired seniors to become involved in the local community. They can volunteer at their church, join community programs in their home town, or help out at the schools. Sometimes seniors just need an extra push, so help find opportunities online or visit local organizations with them so they can join programs that will not only appreciate their help, but are in line with their interests and values.

Find the Time to Visit

You may still have a busy life, but your parent suddenly has a great deal of free time. Find the time to stop and visit. Make arrangements to have them over for Sunday dinner, or go to breakfast with your mother or father before you head to the office. If you don’t live nearby, call them more frequently to say hello and see how they’re doing. Establishing these open lines of communication will also help you down the road when you need to start having difficult conversations about elder care, finances, and their final wishes.

Encourage Hobbies

A sedentary lifestyle can lead to health and memory problems for retirees. One of the best things you can do for your aging mother or father is to encourage them to stay physically and mentally active. Encourage them to try hobbies that require them to get out and get moving! Many cities have local senior centers that hold fitness classes, as well as arts and crafts from painting to knitting. Also suggest they try crossword puzzles, a fun and easy way to help keep the mind sharp and memory strong.

If you have an aging parent living in Lincoln and you are unable to visit as often as you’d like due to distance or work commitments, consider a home companion. Companionship is invaluable to senior retirees and can help enhance overall quality of life. In addition to offering emotional support and someone to talk to, caregivers help with activities of daily living, personal care and transportation, leaving families with peace of mind knowing their loved one is safe at home. For more information about companionship and home care services in Lincoln or contact a Care Manager directly at 402-261-5158.