How to Approach Life Transitions with Optimism and Hope.
A glass-half-full attitude does wonders for a person’s health and well-being. For older adults, studies link optimism to easier recovery from disease, better quality of life and less stress when decision-making. Major life transitions, however, can test even the sunniest dispositions.
Here are three common late-life transitions and how to embrace them with positivity.
1. GIVING UP THE KEYS
If you’ve experienced more collisions or traffic tickets lately, or have health issues that affect your driving ability, it could be time to stop driving or modify driving habits. Find ways to maintain your independence to ease feelings of helplessness.
If you need to give up the keys, contact your Area Agency on Aging to find local ride, shuttle and carpool services. Most public transportation and taxi services offer discounted fares for seniors. Or download the Uber or Lyft app on your smartphone to have on-demand drivers at the ready!
If changing reflexes and coordination make you feel unsafe on the freeway, stick to city streets and limit driving to shorter distances. And another thing: Think of all the money you’ll save on gas and maintenance!
2. NEEDING A WALKER OR WHEELCHAIR
Many older adults see walkers and wheelchairs as symbols of lost independence and mobility. Why not look at these devices differently? A walker or wheelchair enhances your mobility by allowing you to go farther with less effort or pain.
If you’re not sure you need one, consult a physical therapist. She can perform a balance assessment, measure your fall risk and suggest the appropriate aid.
3. MOVING OUT OF THE FAMILY HOME
Saying goodbye to the family home stirs lots of emotions. You might feel sad to leave behind a lifetime of memories and anxious about leaving a familiar neighborhood.
The more control you have over the move, and the more you know in advance, the better you’ll feel. Spend time in your community-to-be. If you’re moving to a Senior Living community, take a tour and have dinner with your future neighbors. If you’re worried about finances, consult with a financial planner to assess your options.
Whether we resist it or embrace it, change happens. Choose the latter to ease into a new life phase with optimism and grace.
Kathy Wohl was 65-years-old when her husband passed away. After his death, she tried moving closer to family in Arizona and Florida but never really felt at home. While she lived in Florida, Hurricane Irma hit, and Kathy found herself frightened and alone. Her son convinced her to move to Arizona, where he would make living arrangements in a safe environment. After
researching several options, he decided on Mountain Park Senior Living because it felt like home. When Kathy moved in, she was greeted by a community ambassador who introduced her to the other residents and made her feel like she belonged there. She feels like Mountain Park is a godsend because it took away her loneliness, and she feels like her life has a new purpose.
Harriett Mallinger felt she was tricked into moving to Mountain Park Senior Living in Phoenix, Arizona, and she is so grateful for that! Her family was in town for a wedding and asked her to go for a ride. When they showed up at the doors of Mountain Park, she wanted to know what they were doing. The family told her she needed to go in to look because they had put a deposit on an apartment. She got very upset and told them she wasn’t going in. Within a few months, Harriett had moved into her apartment, and within three days she called her family and told them that she loved her new life! The residents and team members welcomed her into the community with open arms, and it felt like home. Even though she thought she would be in her house her entire life, she feels like Mountain Park was a better choice.