By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
New Delhi– Retirement is definitely a well-deserved rest after a lifetime of working hard. Getting respite from a work routine and stress after years of repetition can spark a sense of relief and adventure.
However, the feeling of respite soon fades for a majority of people as questions about their sense of identity and lifestyle start clouding their minds. Naturally, after years of following the same routine and doing the same work, a sudden and complete halt can feel strange and trigger emotions of uncertainty and loneliness.
As more families go nuclear, a majority of retirees live independently by choice or because their children work far away. While living alone allows a person space to find and further their individuality, it can also lead to feelings of being alone and alienated. This possibility has only worsened during the pandemic as the social restrictions have minimized whatever a small number of visitations filled the day of most retirees otherwise. A Retiree spend most of their days in leisure, and thus constant loneliness might not translate into the best for their physical and mental health. There is therefore a critical need for their children to take out time and meaningfully engage with them to make their retirement years happier.
Rahul Gupta, CEO, SeniorWorld and Deepu, COO, SeniorWorld together share ways to achieve how working children can be more involved in supporting Retired Parents:
– Help them keep pace with technology: By teaching your parents how to cope with the current technological advancements, children can help them maintain pace with the times. Learning the internet and its usage can help ease their day-to-day tasks and simultaneously keep them engaged as they start using mobile applications to order medicines, shop online, order groceries, stream movies, and play games with friends who are miles away. Children can also help their parents engage in meaningful virtual activities by helping them get on board with virtual tools such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Facebook Live, etc.
– Help them keep fit: Taking a morning/evening walk together with your parents can prove to be a good way to develop a meaningful connection. This is a wonderful way to bond while also keeping yourself and your parents fit. An additional perk is a fresh air that you get to take outdoors which can substantially boost your mood and energy levels.
– Help them find hobbies: A good way of keeping your parents engaged is to find a long-lost hobby or activity of theirs and rekindle their interest in it. One can also help their parents find and develop a new hobby altogether. While reigniting their interest in their old hobbies, it is critical to tweak the hobby to accommodate any current challenges they may have. For example, if your mother struggles with her eyesight, getting her larger crocheting hooks can prove to be helpful.
– Travel with them: For a person who has spent their life in service, it is good to have a change of scene. Thus, taking your parents out on a trip might be a good idea to keep them engaged and happy. Open spaces and adventure might also do you good as your bond with your family over a trip.
– Learn things from them: Most retired people have lived a life full of intriguing experiences and have gained prominent knowledge over the years. They love to share their knowledge and recollect anecdotes and see it as a quality time with their family. You can give your parents this quality time by regularly reaching out to them for help with your daily tasks like cooking, gardening, etc, for seeking guidance on issues you are facing, or simply for a hearty chat.
– Help them join a senior club: Joining a club can be a very good idea for retired people. This is because it allows them to meet like-minded people and form new connections. Some of these connections might become deep and significant as time passes and can even act as a strong support group for your parents as and when they need.
– Take care of their safety: It is critical that you take care of your parents’ safety at all times. One can do this easily in this day of technology, even while working tight schedules and from afar. You can use IoT-enabled security cameras, home security devices, and other technical devices to facilitate this. In case of any adversity, the systems would be quick to notify you so you can intervene timely. There are several options available in the market that have been built with the unique needs of seniors in mind. Children should keep researching and see which ones can help their parents’ overall safety.
– Offer to host coffee dates for them – You can organize coffee dates for your parents and their friends as a way of showing your gratitude for all the play dates they arranged for you. This is a great way to help them refresh their energy and let them deepen their connections with the people they love.
– Find them a volunteering cause – Helping your parents find and volunteer for a cause they believe in can help them to find a new sense of identity and purpose in their life and can help beat any existential questions they might be having. There are plenty of charities that heartedly welcome additional helping hands, and thus you can easily find one suitable for your parents.
Give your parents the gift of time today to see a happier and healthier version of them every day! (IANS)