People see a lot of important changes in their lives as they reach the retirement age and beyond, ranging from the stress of leaving the working world behind to health problems that can make large and unwelcome changes in their lifestyle. Adjusting to these changes can be very difficult for seniors and their families, placing great strain on relationships, especially when loved ones take on the role of caregivers. Knowing what to expect as an elderly loved one goes through these changes can help ease that strain for everyone involved. Seeking advice and assistance from elder care professionals, such as Visiting Angels NJ, will help.
Retirement is a huge adjustment for most people. After all, they’ve spent many years structuring their lives around work obligations. Getting used to living without that familiar structure can be a stressful experience. Often, financial issues add to that stress, as seniors must learn to manage expenses on a fixed income, supplied by pensions and investments, rather than relying on a weekly paycheck. As people live longer in retirement, financial stressors may become even more apparent as medical costs rise
Declining health becomes an issue for many, one that is often the most difficult for seniors to accept. For a person who has spent a lifetime as a capable, independent individual, losing the ability to manage tasks they’ve been handling on their own for a lifetime is a bitte
r pill to swallow. Whether your loved one has lost just a little independence, needs a bit of household help, or has become entirely dependent upon others for care after a serious medical event, that loss is a major one in terms of self-image and quality of life.
What to Expect
If you will be taking care of an elderly loved one, you should know that he or she is very likely to cycle through a range of emotions while struggling to accept these difficult circumstances. Depression, anxiety, grief, frustration and anger are to be expected. Losing control of your life is never easy, especially if you’ve been running your own show for 80 or 90 years.
You’ll have to walk a fine line to ease your loved one through this transition. Decisions must be made as collaboration between adults, not merely as a caretaker and his charge. For example, if your parent or grandparent needs personal care, the decision of who will provide that care must be made with his or her input. If your father is embarrassed at the thought of his wife or daughter handling such intimate tasks, hiring trained professionals from Visiting Angels NJ come into the home may be necessary. Respecting your loved one’s need to retain some control over daily life is absolutely essential.
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Jillian Johnson is a professional content marketing writer and blogger with a particular interest in writing about health and wellness. To read more writing by Jillian, follow her @MissWritey.