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For virtually all of us, relations with other people, particularly the people who have been nearest to our hearts for the longest time, are critical to our happiness. Indeed, one of the greatest pains of living to a truly old age is having to be a bystander as loved ones die before us, and we are left increasingly alone.
The best remedies for this problem are to continue to nurture the relationships that do remain to us, to continue to form new relationships, and to bond with people of younger generations who will not only outlive us, but help keep us connected and vital during our own elder years.
In the meantime, many of us will also be cast into the role of caregiver – for a parent, for a spouse, perhaps for a special needs child or a sibling or even a close friend. This is a work of love, but it can also be an unbearable burden if the proper supports are not in place.
Love relates to:
- Spirit, because in most systems of thought, whether religious or secular, relationships with others are considered central to our true well-being.
- Purpose, because how we spend our time affects the people we care about, and because some of our purposeful activities may have to do with caring for or caring about others.
- Avocation, because many of our most enjoyable activities are those that we do with others. And because maintaining relationships with family, friends, and our local community can be among our most rewarding avocations.
- Security, because our ability to provide for the financial well-being and the comfortable housing of those we care about, or for them to do so for us, is a key element in our closest relationships. And because financial security gives us more ways to express our love for others, and to care for those who need help.
- Health, because our health enables us to get out and around, and to maintain mental wellness, so we can keep our relationships strong and form new ones. And because our health, and that of our closest family, determines whether caregiving is needed and, if so, who provides it to whom.
Topics and sub-topics under Love
Forgiveness, compassion, respect, and gratitude not only are the basis of all the best relationships, but are also scientifically shown to lead to happier lives for those who practice them.
- Forgiveness: Letting go of the negative, to heal your relationships and to heal yourself.
- Compassion: Understanding how the world looks to others.
- Respect: The one sweet that everyone craves.
- Gratitude: Important to express, even more important to feel.
How do you keep intimate relationships vital? What do you do when you lose an intimate relationship? How do you find a new one?
- Family: Other than your spouse or partner
Blood is thicker than water, but sometimes it clots. How do you keep family relationships thriving?
- Relationships with parents and other elders: As you grow up, and as your parent becomes the needy one.
- Relationships with children and grandchildren: How to maintain good relationships, what information you should share with them, and what you should be expected to do for them when they need help.
- Options for special needs children and adults: Providing for those who most need it, while you’re alive, when you become infirm, and even after you’re gone.
- Empty nest syndrome: Readjusting when the children leave home.
- Relationships with other family members: How do you foster good relationships and resolve problems with siblings, step-family, and ex-spouses?
- Death of a parent, child, or sibling: Coping with some of the greatest losses of all.
- Family pets: Keeping and taking care of pets as you age.
If aging inevitably involves losing people, that doesn’t mean we have to lose them all, or that we can’t find as many new friends as we want – even if we become very limited in our other capabilities.
- Caregiving: Helping others with physical or mental infirmity
A majority of women and a sizeable minority of men become a caregiver to someone who is physically and/or mentally infirm, at some point in their lives. It catches most of them by surprise. But there is a lot of information and help out there.
©2016 Still River Retirement Planning Software, Inc. / RetirementWORKS, Inc.