This new decade will bring many of the 76 million Baby Boomers who approach retirement, with the dreams and visisons of travel, volunteerism, and enjoying family redirected and derailed, to the reality of aging parents and their increasing dependency.
It is my recommendation that every pre-retirement class, workshop or planner cover, for the aging baby boomer generation how to find a balance between parent care and actualizing their dreams. The later years also bring progressive chronic illnesses to baby boomers, who on the whole are healthier than their parents at retirement, but never the less have a body that is aging or a genetic package that can’t be redesigned (or at least not this year)!
So, with our own aging and our own dreams of what retirement holds for each of us comes the question, how do I take care of my parents and still have fulfilling relationships and enjoy the “golden” years?
It could change the course of your “golden years” to find an experienced counselor or Professional Certified Geriatric Care Manager to review a checklist of how to find balance in life. This can go a long way toward life satisfaction. After such a meeting, you will need to commit to self-care that will help prevent burnout, resentment and even depression. You should also have someone, a friend, spouse or counselor who you talk with for accountability – it is so easy to be pulled into the drama and needs of aging family members.
Remember, balance is not eliminating your ability or willingness to support and care for your parents – but it means finding that time to get out on the golf course, take a hike, play with the grandkids or learn a new language.
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area we are here for you. If you live in another part of the country send us a query and we will find someone for you to talk with.
Happy Trails to you!