Retirement And Your Future Mental Health

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October 26, 2017

Retirement And Your Future Mental Health

Finally retirement is around the corner! Each of us can’t wait for this day to come when we can kick off our work shoes forever. That magical time filled with stress-free days and activities is finally here. However, is retirement a happy and rewarding time for everyone? Working as a Health Care professional I am blessed to offer retirement living for many seniors in their retirement years, but their stories are often filled with despair, grief, loneliness and intense stress that can cause anxiety and depression.

According to a recent US Health and Retirement study, among 5,422 individuals, those who had retired were 40% more likely to have had a heart attack or stroke than those who were still working. The increase was more pronounced during the first year after retirement, and leveled off after that. These changes may be why retirement is ranked 10th on the list of life’s 43 most stressful events. Some people smoothly make the transition into a successful retirement. Others don’t. Let’s look into this a bit closer.

Being years away from retirement myself, I can only base my comments on what I have experienced personally and my work experience as a Health Care Administrator. I have come up with two opinions on retirement. First, if money is not a concern and you have the financial ability to retire at any age, do so now!!! Why? You most likely are in good health and you can enjoy the finer things retirement brings such as vacations and travel (obviously much better when healthy).

My second opinion is, don’t retire from people, groups or other opportunities to socialize with others. Retirement doesn’t mean stop working or stop contributing to society. It can take many forms. Some retirees start a business, work part time hours, or even volunteer their time at a place they enjoy, such at Holy Redeemer. Staying busy and having face to face interactions is my opinion of a very proactive retirement. Trips are great, vacations are fun but can you really do them every day? How many days of the year can you afford the luxury of traveling around the world or vacationing on a Florida beach? The rest of the time you are home, bored and possibly depressed.

Sorry to cast a gray cloud over the subject of retirement. Most people find daily happiness and are rewarded for the years of service they provided. Staying young at heart and having a smart retirement plan, such as looking into a retirement community like Holy Redeemer Lafayette: a place where socialization, entertainment and luxurious dining are provided daily without the worry, plus the added healthcare when needed. Staying home alone is not good for anyone at any age. No wonder depression, anxiety and general worry plague thousands of seniors each day. Retirement doesn’t have to mean, retire from life. It’s a time to celebrate and live life to the fullest and stay busy each and every day.

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