The fear of becoming irrelevant as we get older is a very real one. But it’s often something we don’t think about until it actually happens.
You might notice it with co-workers – the subtle hesitancy to ask for your input on the latest system changes, while soliciting input from someone else with “fresh ideas.” It may even hit closer to home with friends or family who once turned to you for advice, but no longer seem to take a real interest in what you have to say.
We’ve also seen it here at Freedom Home Care. Loved ones might be homebound or receiving personalized services from a home care agency and sometimes feel like they’re missing out on the chance to make a difference. They think there’s not much they can actually do about it.
But according to experts, nothing could be further from the truth.
Relevancy is totally within your control says aging expert Ken Dychtwald. “Most people who feel irrelevant assume that society has made them that way. But that’s not the case.” Dychtwald suggests that isolation and an unwillingness to change are often the culprits for feelings of irrelevancy.
And because even though these thoughts and feelings are common with age, we can decide how we chose to adapt to those feelings and what we want to do about it.
Here are some things other seniors found that help them remain relevant without losing yourself in the process.
Delve into Social Media
Being active on social media is more than just trying to keep up with a technologically savvy younger generation. It’s a place where people can connect and keep in touch with friends and relatives. It’s also useful in warding off loneliness, while offering a chance to become part of a larger community. It provides the opportunity for people to get involved in their community, allowing them a greater sense of purpose.
Volunteer work can be immensely rewarding – not just for you, but for those you serve, as well. It just feels good to help others in need. In fact, studies have shown that giving your time as a volunteer promotes happiness and helps reduce stress, wards off depression, provides mental stimulation and helps your develop your skills. Volunteering meets needs. It makes people feel like they matter and forges unlikely relationships between participants. It can also enact change.
Invest in a Smartphone
This may seem like a given in today’s internet-driven society, but many older loved ones prefer to stick to something simple with basic features, requiring little maintenance. Smartphones may take some getting used to – but in the end, having email and phone contacts right at your fingertips, accessing apps with medical reminders and using voice-recognition features to help draft text messages – can outweigh the initial inconvenience.
Stay in Shape
Having a fitness routine and healthy meal plan are two of the best things you can do for yourself. But don’t do it alone. Take a friend along for extra motivation. Not only will you have more stamina and energy to keep up with your children and grandchildren you also add years to your life in the process.
Staying Socially engaged is key to maintaining a healthy mindset and lifestyle. At Freedom Home Care, we provide healthy and engaging home care assistance in the Chicagoland area. We provide services from newborn care, personalized elder care, post-surgery care, Arthritis care and much more. Give us a call at (847) 433-5788 or visit us at our headquarters located 1749 Green Bay Rd in Highland Park, IL 60035.