The “Golden Years” come with many challenges. As your parents age, they face loss of their independence, limitations on their finances, diminished physical abilities, and age discrimination.
On this page, I talk about five challenges that your retired parents might be facing. Understanding these challenges can help you assist with your retired parents’ needs.
Financial and Physical Issues
Living on a “Fixed” Income
Most retirees do not enjoy the same financial benefits of their former income once they leave the workforce. In retirement, they must live off of their social security retirement benefits, pensions, and other retirement savings. This requires them to budget and make ends meet. Oftentimes, their available money does not keep up with modern costs of living. This can lead to feelings of fear, embarrassment, and insecurity.
It can be difficult for your parents to adjust to a tighter budget. Try to be patient and assist them with preparing a realistic budget given their changed financial situation.
Loss of Physical Abilities and Illness
In addition to financial changes, seniors simply do not enjoy the robust health of their younger adult years. Many face daily restrictions on their most basic activities because of physical disabilities or illness. Simply getting around and running errands can become challenging. Some older individuals self-neglect and resist necessary medical care and treatment for themselves. Diminished physical abilities can impact their independence. Make sure to keep your eye on these potential issues and help your parents through any physical setbacks.
Mental and Emotional Issues
Ageism and Discrimination
Our society used to value and revere our elders. But times have changed, and oftentimes our seniors no longer enjoy their former position of respect in the community. In fact, social stereotypes now seem to make fun of retirees and dismiss them from being contributors to our modern society. Ageism can range from patronizing behaviors to offensive discrimination. Ageism can impact your elderly loved one’s self-esteem and self-worth.
Seniors may feel isolated from their families and friends. Many have lost their spouse or live alone. Since they are not working, they might not have a reason to leave their homes and get out into the world each day. Some friends have moved away. Some have perished. It is harder to meet and make friends as we get older. Our parents’ intimate circle of friends is getting smaller all of the time. For instance, in ten more years there will only be a handful of surviving World War II veterans. Feeling isolated can cause anxiety and depression. Try to make time for your elderly loved ones to avoid feelings of isolation.
Abuse of our senior citizens has become a far too prevalent problem. Many seniors are dependent upon others for assistance with their daily care. This can lead to unfortunate situations where caretakers harm them. The elderly can be subject to many kinds of abuse including physical and emotional abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
Helping Your Parents
As younger adults, our lives are often so busy that we might not be aware of the challenges that our retired parents face on a daily basis. In my experience, the best solution is to engage in open and honest communication with your parents.
I hope that this article was informative and provided you with knowledge to assist your parents. If you have specific questions about elderly law, please contact me to set up an appointment to discuss your situation. I am here to help!