Your parents will have worked all their lives to create a home and raise a family. Once they retire, however, they’ll suddenly find themselves without that much to do; they’re no longer working, the children have left home, and they’re not quite sure what exactly it is they’re supposed to be doing with all this free time. And that’s before we begin thinking about their diminishing health and mobility. Below, we take a look at how you can do your bit to ensure they’re golden years are as happy as their earlier years.
When a person retires, the changes come slowly. They might enjoy their free time for a short while, but they can pretty quickly find themselves in a situation that they don’t know how to handle. They might be spending more of their time inside their home, watching television, or, worst, drinking alcohol to pass the hours. They don’t plan on this, but without anything else to do, this is just the circumstance they find themselves in. Instead of visiting them in their home, encourage them to meet you out in public, maybe doing something fun, so you can be sure they’re getting out of the home.
Declining Health, Declining Mobility
A person’s health and mobility can decline fairly rapidly once they’re retired. This isn’t just because they’re less active. They also see fewer people, and as such there are fewer people “keeping an eye” on their health. If you’re worried that your parents are no longer able to live a full life in their own home, then do something about it. Look into the assisted living options in your neighborhood and see if they might be able to live more comfortably in one of those living arrangements. It’ll benefit you as well as them, as you’ll be able to rest assured that they’re well taken care of, surrounded by professionals.
Where are the Friends?
Of all the things that affect older people, none is as common as loneliness. A big percentage of older people say they experience isolation, and many can go days without speaking to another soul beyond their partner. That’s why it’s important that you encourage your parents to join social groups and make friends with other seniors. They might balk at this idea because people are stuck in their ways, but in the long run, it’ll do them a world of good.
And it’s not just friends that they should be acquiring: they should also pick up a few new hobbies. Doing things that require mental stimulation will keep their brain sharp and help keep away many diseases. Some activities are particularly well suited to older people, but they can do anything if they like; you’re never too old (or young!) to try something new.
Getting to Know You
Finally, make sure you’re reaching out to your parents. You could be a great friend to them if you give it a try. This is your chance to get to know them in ways you never have before, and you’ll get just as much out of it as they do.