After decades of work, your loved ones are finally retiring. You, on the other hand, are probably still working, both professionally and as a caregiver.
You likely have a lot of ideas as to what you'd like to do when you get to retire. Your loved ones may too, but as the weeks pass, you might find that they aren't living it up quite as much as you'd expected. After all, they've worked for most of their lives and now they suddenly have endless days with no mandatory tasks. What are they going to do with all that time?
Recognize the challenge
Though the first few days of absolute freedom will be welcome for your family members, not having any daily plans can get boring quickly. Typical retiree activities such as gardening or golf may not interest them, as pointed out by Forbes magazine. The level of boredom can be worse if their spouses have their own activities that don't include them.
If they weren't particularly active when they were working, they may not be very open to the concept of daily exercise despite its benefits. The same concept applies to healthy diets. In all of these cases, you and other caregivers may have to intervene and inspire them to engage in everyday activities that are good for their overall well-being.
Find activities that they love
There are bound to be activities that they enjoy. They might be having trouble rediscovering a past passion or finding a new one. They might miss their old friends who have moved away. You can help them with all of these. Consider their retirement budget and figure out what they'll be able to afford before proposing new ideas, especially ones that will be expensive, such as travel. Unsure of where to begin? Here are five suggestions to make the most of your time.
- Travel: Crunch the numbers with your loved ones and figure out what sort of trips they can afford. Getting away from home doesn't have to mean crossing the ocean. A cross-country trip might be just the vacation they need to get back into the swing of things. They could make new friends, learn about new activities and even spark a new interest in travel.
- Volunteer: This is a great way for loved ones to give back to their community and ensure frequent social interaction. Additionally, it gives them a sense of responsibility, which may be welcome if they particularly enjoyed their work or having a structured daily schedule.
- Catch up with friends: Modern technology has made it easier than ever to speak to friends and family members who live too far away to visit. Set your loved ones up with a Web chat program or email and reach out to their friends. They'll have a lot to catch up on and might even plan a trip in the near future.
- Cook: Creating healthy and delicious meals can be challenging, but that's precisely why family members should take up cooking. It's an everyday activity that can be fun and exciting. Loved ones who have difficulty with cooking tools can benefit from adaptive kitchen aids, which will allow them to cook meals with no trouble.
- Participate in an exercise group: Whether they do this with neighbors or at a local community center, participating in group physical activities will ensure that they're getting the recommended level of exercise. It also provides them with company, which can encourage them to keep up with the routine more readily than if they were to go on their own.
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