That Concern You Have Right Now is Not Unique to You
Regardless of where we’re at in life each of us has some concerns. Those things we worry about and can lose sleep over. People 60+ are no different. They have many of the same concerns younger people do. There also are some specific to their age group.
The most surprising thing is we think we’re unique and that others do not have the same concerns we have. It’s unbelievable. This is totally false.
Once we realize we are not alone and many others have the same concerns, any concerns we are facing at a given time are not as bad as we initially thought. Just acknowledging them and admitting they’re not unique to us is a big step in overcoming them.
8 Major Concerns Common to All People 60+
1. Loss of Freedom and Independence
If there is anything we Americans value, it is our freedom and independence. The ability to do what we want. The ability to go where we want when we want. The ability to take care of ourselves and not rely on others for help.
As people 60+ age, they worry about losing their freedom and independence. They believe at some point they won’t be able to get along as they used to. They no longer will be able to do what they desire. They may have to rely on others for help.
Looking more closely, loss of freedom and independence is a state of mind. At various points in their lives, they didn’t have freedom and independence. During their childhood, they were dependent on their parents. At various times throughout their adulthood they needed the help of others.
One thing that can comfort them is to look around and see people older than them who still are as independent as they ever were. By focusing on them, by getting to know them and seeing what they do to remain independent, they themselves can follow their example and live the same way.
2. Death of a Spouse
The death of a spouse is tragic especially for a couple married for a very long time. Frequently the grief is severe for the surviving spouse. In addition, there is a greater chance of loneliness.
This is where a support network is very helpful. Family and friends can be there for them as they deal with their grief. They can spend more time with them and comfort them. Just being with another reduces the loneliness.
3. Loss of Friends
The older a person gets, the smaller their circle of friends becomes. Some go to live with their adult children. Others move into Assisted Living Centers and Nursing Homes. Some die.
This can cause grief. However, the same thing has happened throughout their lives. Friends have come and gone.
The way to handle this is to be grateful for the remaining friends. Also recall the good times with those who have departed and be thankful for those.
The older person can also make new friendships. This is where places like senior centers are valuable. They provide the opportunity to meet new people. Some will become close friends.
We talked about loneliness in the last post on this blog. Loneliness is the most serious health concern facing older Americans today.
There are many ways for a person to overcome loneliness. It is unbelievable how loneliness disappears when a person has a dog or cat as a companion.
5. Loss of Purpose
For various reasons some people can feel there no longer is a purpose in their lives.
That can occur at retirement. Their work was their life. When they stop working, their reason for living is gone. They don’t know how to adjust.
The easiest way to deal with this is to plan never to retire. To continue to work at something far into retirement. If money is needed, it could be at a part time job. If money is not an issue, there are many volunteer opportunities. Many organizations in Knox county are looking for volunteers to help them.
For others, it’s when they have to move out of a home they have lived in for many years. They feel their memories are tied to their homes. It was the dream home they and their spouse bought. It’s where they raised their children. It’s where the most significant events happened.
What they don’t realize is those memories are not tied to their home. They’ll never forget them. They will always have them regardless of where they live.
For others, it’s declining health. Yes, poor heath is a major concern for many.
There have been many studies on how to maintain health. These reveal a person needs to eat properly. Get adequate sleep. Then exercise regularly. Last, see their doctor for regular check-ups. Following through on each of these keeps a person healthy and helps them avoid a serious illness.
Also – a person’s support network (their family and friends) can be a great help. They can be there for them, comfort them and help them with their needs. It’s at times like this the person will start to realize how much appreciated they are.
6. Lack of Money
A major concern for almost everyone 60+ is whether they’ll have enough money to do what they want, to take care of their needs as long as they live or even to survive.
Yes, this can be a valid concern. Most times it is blown way out of proportion. There always seems to be enough resources available to take care of whatever a person needs.
7. Not Being Able to Drive
Everyone is going to reach a point in their lives when they are no longer able to drive. For some that truly frightens them. They look at it as a loss of freedom and independence.
Rather than grieving the loss of the ability to drive, they can look at this as the time to have their own personal chauffeur. A person to drive them where they need to go when they need to. Family members and friends are glad to step up and help out here. Rather than just having one chauffeur, a person might have several.
8. Being Victimized by Financial Predators
On a regular basis, there are reports about older people being taken advantage of by scam artists, housing contractors and others trying to get money from them.
The best way to avoid this is to be on the lookout for this. People 60+ need to pay attention to new scams that are occurring. The news media is great in making scams currently occurring public. Caller IDs on phones help. Anyone can screen the calls they’re getting and only answer those when they know who is calling. They can let the other calls go to voice mail.
When a housing contractor or a repair person knocks on their door and says they need something repaired, they never should accept it as fact. They need to talk to others to see if what they’re being told is correct. If the repair is necessary, they should get 2 or 3 quotes on the cost of repair from other companies.
These are most of the major concerns people 60+ face. None of them are worth worrying about and losing sleep over. Think about the following comment by Paul J Meyer:
"More damage is done by worrying than by what is being worried about. This is because 90 percent of all worries never come to pass". – Paul J Meyer
Excessive worry is harmful to health. It also robs a person of time they can spend enjoying other things and living it to the fullest.
What is Better?
Enjoying the moment or wasting it worrying about something that probably won’t happen?
If you are a family member of a person 60+, watch for signs when they are not their normal selves. Find out what’s wrong.
If they tell you they are worried about something, talk with them about it. Listen to them before making any comments. Then share your thoughts. Let them know what they’re concerned about may never happen. Get them to look at it from a different view point.
These are supposed to be the golden years for people 60+. They don’t see it that way when they spend time every day worrying about any of these which may never happen.