You may have loved ones who have signed up to the senior citizen’s club to which free movies and discounts are a perk. Or, you yourself may be the one on the cusp, if not standing right in the middle of your senior years. Whichever side of the fence you may be, you can be sure that this stage of life brings its own set of issues and challenges to live a more meaningful life. Here are a few things that those 60 years old and wiser have to go through, that may help us better understand; and ways to continue making these years the best yet in our lives:
- Looking at a life based on achievements. Better known as Ego Integrity, Psychologist Erick Erikson says that late adulthood brings us to a stage wherein we need to achieve a sense of integrity by accepting the lives we’ve lived. It’s all about putting things into perspective and summing it all up. Contentment would be ideal. This would be the best time to look back, focus significant parts of your or your loved one’s life; go through the “good old days” and create a complex and beautiful patchwork of narratives to give meaning and worth to a life well lived.
- Retirement and downtime. It’s not easy going from busy bodies to year-long vacations. Retirement plays a big role and we need to understand that coming from a routine and suddenly having too much free time is occasion to start exploring new possibilities that you or your loved ones may not have done when work or raising a family took precedence. Consider getting into leisurely activities. Acquire a new skill, or work on previous one? This could focus attention on something worthwhile and productive.
- Things seem to be slowing down. We’re not just talking about the strut. Mentally and socially, everything may seem to be slowing down too. For those with loved ones in their 60’s, you may notice a change in their social activities – but those within their senior years may know the real score – they do not want to be isolated, they just like to spend more time with the few who really matter to them.
One thing is for sure– late adulthood is a phase we all experience. For those still looking at this horizon, better to get a head start now and take the time to really understand what is ahead. For those who are already enjoying the golden years, won’t it be great to know more about the gifts and potentials that this stage brings?