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How do you want to be valued when you are older? When we are elders, how do we want people to view us? This is a question that I ask as I've started to move into my fifties and beyond...way beyond.

The problem is our society does not value our elders. In the marketplace, elders are often viewed as a liability. In our communities, elders have been marginalized and ignored.

We want to change this perspective about people who grow old. We need to make it more normal for young adults to see older adults as assets rather than liabilities or burdens. We also need them to understand how important they are in society and not just think of us when something needs fixing or a small favor is needed. It is challenging for elders to do that if younger generations don't acknowledge their value on an emotional level too."

Here are some challenges you might be facing.

The biggest challenge you will face once retiring from your job is staying engaged with life and feel valued by others around you, even those close friends and family members that live elsewhere. When you lose these connections, you might face what we call sellers or retirees remorse.

Our society does not value our elders. We often look at them with disdain and disregard. We need to make it more normal for young adults to see older adults as assets rather than liabilities or burdens. We also need them to understand how important we are in society and not just think of us when something needs fixing or a small favor is needed.

Do you recognize yourself in that last sentence? I do. It's frustrating, and it is all the more reason we need to start changing our culture, so elders are not invisible but just as valued as any other person.

There is hope.

It's hard enough for an older adult trying to maintain a sense of who they are when their family moves away or dies; society needs to be there too.

I'm glad that some studies have been done on this topic because now we know how important it is for young adults to value elders and make them feel like they belong where ever they go.

There are some challenges.

Sadly, in today's fast-paced world, we often take elders for granted and forget that many people face aging alone.

What elders lack in physical and cognitive capacity, they more than makeup for with life experience.

They have the benefit of having gone through a lot and learned from their mistakes.

Wisdom almost always comes with years and experience.

Elders can provide wisdom to younger generations and access to insights that are specific only to them.

We need this information not just for professional reasons but also personal ones because it helps us identify whom we want to be when we get older. So how do you keep your identity alive?

To maintain an active social circle while aging, elders should cultivate friendships based on shared interests rather than age or proximity.

Here are some things you can do.

  1. Understand the headwinds going against you. The first step to mitigating the challenges of aging is understanding them. As you get older, your eyesight and hearing may worsen, mobility will
  2. Have a plan for keeping a full social circle. Maintain your identity by staying active in the world. Continue to do what's important to you and take pride in how you live your life.
  3. Make sure you include people of all ages in your social circle.

What are your thoughts about elders in our society? Let me know in the comments below.

At Stage 2 we have lots of experience in helping clients move into and through retirement in a successful manner. Book a call with us and start to learn where you are in the journey to a new normal after retirement. You might be surprised by what you find out.

 

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Topics: retirement, Elders, senior citizen

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