Monday, 22 April 2013

Adaptation to Retirement and its influence on Healthy and Productive Ageing

This weekend watched the movie "About Schmidt" (released in 2002, starring Jack Nicholson). This movie is about a person who recently retired from a senior position and shortly after that he lost his wife.His effort of coping with changes post retirement and due to loss of spouse has been portrayed in a very touching way. He is shown to be struggling continuously to find a purpose in life. Towards this end he took a decision to sponsor an orphan child, this not only gave him some purpose in life but also gave him the chance to share and vent his feelings through the letter to the child, which was also a way of coping with his loneliness. To me this part highlights the importance of social interaction in a person's life in old age.

An interesting fact was that inspite of his struggle with finding purpose in life and a feeling of loneliness he learns to keep himself active and fulfilled his long term wish of visiting places both new and the ones with which he had been associated in the past.

Adaptation to retirement is tough for many senior citizens as retirement brings with it, loss of a particular role and status in society,however, while working on my Masters dissertation on Retirement, along with those who faced problems in adaptation to retirement, I also came across people who have adapted well with retirement and are taking it as a new phase of life, where they can get involved in those tasks which they had not been able to do while they were working. Some such activities were: becoming an entrepreneur and taking up a second career, learning music, dance, painting, photography, going for a world tour.This, to a great extent plays an important role in maintenance of healthy and productive ageing by keeping senior citizens both physically and mentally fit and by adding some new goals and purpose to their life.

Point to reflect: How a person can successfully adapt with retirement?

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