Well, here you are: The last kiddo has left home and you’re feeling pretty blue. Maybe you’re worrying all the time. You’re probably a little lonesome (or a lot). If you are struggling with empty nest syndrome, the good news is you are not alone. Most parents experience at least some of these feelings in varying degrees. Here are five suggestions for coping with empty nest syndrome and finding your groove again.
The Empty Nest Is Actually Full—of Emotions
According to GoodTherapy.org, empty nesters may experience insomnia, anxiety and/or panic—as well as feelings of extreme grief, isolation/loneliness, guilt and purposelessness. They may even lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. Psychology Today notes that “…parents often struggle with a profound sense of loss, not just because they miss their child, but because their very identities have been significantly impacted.” In other words, if your parenting role has changed so dramatically, who are you?
In two-parent families, empty nest syndrome is at least a team experience—one partner can offer support and empathy when the other is struggling. For divorced, widowed or single parents, however, there may unfortunately be an even greater sense of isolation and loneliness.
Five Ways to Cope with Empty Nest Syndrome
1. Participate in Activities That Include Others.
Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, we all need friends. If you’re already involved in a community group, don’t stop now! If you’ve been too busy, go ahead and sign up for those art classes, start a band, look into university extension programs, or join a new class at the gym. The excitement and energy of taking up a new hobby or learning something new is a real balm for feelings of loss, and being around other people can help stave off social isolation.
2. Find New Ways to Feel Valued and Needed.
One of the rewards of parenting is the feeling of being important to another person. While nothing will ever replace the love between a parent and child, you can find some fulfillment in helping others. Look for a volunteer organization that aligns with your values and sign up! Offer to read books at a nearby school, or hold babies in the NICU at your local hospital. Sign up to work at a local food bank or community garden. Or use your skills to help others—knit blankets for hospital patients, teach home repair skills… the possibilities are as endless as your imagination.
3. Embrace a New Adventure.
If your time and budget allow it, why not enjoy all that traveling you put off during the busy parenting years? Some empty nesters even decide to sell their homes and travel full-time! While that might not be the right choice for you, having a trip to plan and look forward to (and then enjoy) can be very therapeutic.
4. Embark On an Encore Career.
If you’ve reached retirement age, becoming an empty nester might inspire you to re-enter the working world. Encore careers can take on many forms — a coaching or consultative role in your former industry, professionalizing one of your skills (such as giving art lessons), or even joining the staff at a nonprofit. These “second-act” jobs can be a great way to recharge your spirits, stay engaged and extend your retirement income.
5. Discover the Benefits of Homesharing.
Sometimes an empty nest means you’ve got unused space in your home. Homesharing offers a wonderful way to put that space to work and have some company around the house. In homesharing, your renter (or “housemate” pays rent or does household chores (or a combination of the two) in exchange for living space.
Some homeowners find housemates by asking around among friends and neighbors, or by advertising in the community, online or on social media. Silvernest uses unique roommate-matching technology and other tools to make homesharing simple and worry-free. We’ve helped build happy homesharing agreements between people of similar ages or across generations.
There’s Hope Ahead.
Those “empty nest” feelings are normal and natural. While you’ll always miss having your kids around, the most intense emotions usually ease with time. However, if you find yourself too depressed or anxious to fully participate in your life as you once did, please seek out professional support. A trained therapist or, if need be, psychiatrist can help you work your way through this transition to a brighter future.
Silvernest is a one-stop-shop online homesharing platform that pairs boomers, retirees, empty nesters and other older adults with compatible housemates for long-term rent arrangements. Through these creative living situations, homeowners earn extra income (about $10,000 a year), remain in their homes longer, and keep isolation at bay, while renters pay far less than market rent. Both enjoy companionship and the efficiencies that come with sharing a space.
See the original article here: https://blog.silvernest.com/you-are-not-alone-empty-nest-syndrome-is-common.-heres-how-to-cope
During Fall Prevention Week we consider the Impact of falls on Caregivers and Employers. One of the most staggering statistics for companies is the lost productivity by employees acting as caregivers. The losses range from lack of attention to current job tasks, more time away from work for appointments and caregiving to the increased levels of stress and health-related issues for the employees themselves. Informal caregiving burdens cost employers as much as $33 Billion annually in lost productivity according to the Family Caregiver Alliance.
American workers must make the most out of their situation when life happens while performing at an optimum level. That’s the corporate ideal, but on a personal level, the burden of caregiving can exceed a worker’s mental fortitude and earning potential. A new report from the Harvard Business School Project on Managing the Future of Work shows companies lose too when workers must decide when to care for a loved one or to keep on working.
“The Caring Company,” from co-authors Joseph B. Fuller and Manjari Raman, suggests companies are ignoring the “silent crisis of caregiving” as it pertains to today’s workers. A rapidly aging population, more women in the labor force and misalignment of benefits are contributing to pressures on work-life balance. For companies that espouse a culture of caring, many are unprepared to expand their conception of caregiving and benefits beyond family leave or more flexible work options.
In the authors’ estimation, companies do not calculate or understand the costs their workers incur when absent from the job or working when distracted or fatigued. High turnover and training costs are hidden from companies’ bottom lines while parents and elder caregivers are acutely aware of what they sacrifice in pay, time and mental strength. The rising cost of child and elder care is eating into earnings, leading workers — mainly women, who still shoulder the majority of caregiving responsibilities — to restrict their careers.
Workers’ expertise leaves with them when they suspend their careers, and many companies aren’t offering a pathway back to pick up where they left off. The result is a miscommunication between the two parties. According to the report, workers suffer in silence and do not utilize their benefits to ease their caregiving burden in fear of negative consequences while companies could look at this underutilization and say that there isn’t a problem. “The Caring Company” illustrates how companies operate in ignorance and pay lip service to caring, while not accommodating a widening spectrum of issues related to care.
The report comes at a time where dynamic population and healthcare trends are coinciding with a labor and skills shortage.
It doesn’t have to be this way! There are professionally trained Senior Home Safety Specialists™ who can provide the information and solutions to reduce the stress and worry about aging parents at home while an employee is attempting to put in a full day’s work. Age Safe® America has trained professionals throughout North America, Europe and the Middle East to provide the valuable resources for HR departments and EAP program administrators.
Our mutual goals are better, healthier, less stressed, more productive employees who have confidence that their family members have the right solutions in place for their home environments.
Age Safe® Live Well.
Falls Prevention Awareness Day!
The annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day raises awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults. We have heard the statistics over and over. One in 3 Americans over the age of 65 will fall this year. One in 2 Americans over the age of 80 will fall this year. Falls account for 40% of nursing home admissions. It doesn’t have to be this way! As our population ages and the demographic studies tell us that the longevity for the current generations is greater than any other time in history, then this is the opportunity to change the statistics. Ten years from now, the fall rate among Americans can be significantly different. But in order to do so, we must take the action.
The social activism of the 60’s needs to translate into personal activism to maximize the independence and control we can exert in our lives. This generation took the action 50 years ago to affect military policy, civil rights and the creation of Older Americans Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are too many stories of people moving into assisted living communities or long-term care, not by choice but by necessity. We all know an individual, family member, friend, member of our social circle or faith community who has not had the chance to remain independent.
You must be the change you want to see in the world….Gandhi
Be the change—-get a professional home safety evaluation. A trained specialist can identify the opportunities and changes that we don’t see for ourselves. They may suggest to add the grab bars and motion lights, clear the pathways and make sure our entrances are safe and easy to navigate. (The extra benefit of a safe entrance is a safe exit during an emergency or natural disaster!) You can make an appointment get your eyes checked, mark your calendar and get it done! On the next visit, take your list of questions and review your meds with the doctor. Exercise can be as simple as a short walk or stretch or taking a class in person, by video or on TV.
We cannot look back and wish we had our home evaluated or our eyes checked.
Our future selves are relying on our taking the steps today to change the trajectory of our lives and change those awful, realistic statistics. Take a step today to Age Safe® and Live Well!
Change the Statistics, Make a Difference.
Plan for independence!
We all want to live safe, independent and comfortable, regardless of our age or ability. Unfortunately, many homes were not designed to give you freedom as you age. Whether you are living by yourself or with a family member, you can design your own additions or home modifications that will help you continue living independently. Trained advisors and qualified contractors are available to help you plan and create the safety, comfort and flexibility in the home that you want and need. Age Safe® Live Well.
Join NCOA for Falls Prevention Awareness Day 2019 events! #FPAD2019
On National Senior Citizens Day we celebrate the people who are part of the fastest-growing demographic in the world. According to the traditional definition, a senior citizen is anyone older than 60 years of age, but this seems relatively young in today’s society! This day was declared to celebrate, honor, and give thanks to all the contributions that generations of individuals have given to their families and communities. Whether it is showing gratitude for a loved one, friend, elder you care for, or close member of your community, take time on August 21st to reach out and show your appreciation.
On August 19th, 1988 President Ronald Reagan declared August 21st National Senior Citizens Day. Here is what he had to say: “For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute. We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure that our communities are good places in which to mature and grow older.” – President Ronald Reagan
Some great ways to do this could be:
- Taking your loved one out to the movies – everyone can appreciate a nice matinee!
- Creating a video of different family members discussing their favorite memories with the individual.
- Want to get your kids involved? Many local assisted living and nursing homes offer “adopt-a-grandparent” programs, linking up young children with seniors. This is a great way to not only get your kids involved with the community, but also inform them about the significance of Senior Citizens Day.
- Creating a personalized picnic with all their favorite foods.
- Treating your loved one to a nice meal out.
- Offering a helping hand with any small things they need done around the house.
- Something as simple as making a phone call to show how much you love and support them.
- Don’t have someone specifically in mind to celebrate? Volunteer at local assisted living homes or veterans homes.
If you are a senior citizen yourself, well, Senior Citizens Day is all about you. Live a little! Spend time with your favorite people. Treat yourself to an ice cream sundae. Knock something off your bucket list. Or just relax with friends and family. Do whatever floats your boat, because the day is dedicated to you! You’ve earned it!
Happy Senior Citizens Day!
Up to 75 percent of Americans may be functioning in a chronic state of dehydration. This lack of hydration also leads to many other health issues. Every cell in your body needs water to function, but often people don’t realize they’re dehydrated. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Thirst isn’t always a reliable early indicator of the body’s need for water. Many people, particularly older adults, don’t feel thirsty until they’re already dehydrated.”
Most people learn that water exists in three forms – liquid, gas and solid. But there is a fourth form of water called “gel water” that’s the most hydrating. It’s found in plant cells and contains glucose and/or sodium, which helps your body absorb it in the small intestine. This is critical because the small intestine is where 95 percent of water is absorbed into your body.
Gel water can be found in high concentrations in fruits and vegetables like cucumber, celery, watermelon and cantaloupe. One great way to stay well-hydrated is to drink smoothies. Blend fruits and vegetables in a smoothie and add coconut water to provide electrolytes. Drink this hydration-booster every morning, along with 3.5 liters of fluid water throughout the day.
Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Because your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it’s important to rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water.
Fruits and vegetables with the highest amount of water include:
Other foods that contain a high amount of water include:
- cottage cheese
- chicken breast
Consuming foods high in water will help prevent dehydration. However, food alone isn’t likely to provide an adequate amount of water to sustain you in the long term.
Here’s a final hydration boosting tip: Add a handful of ground chia seeds to your smoothie or beverage. Ground chia seeds absorb 30 times their weight in water and turn fluid water into gel water. They also slow the passage of water through your digestive tract, giving the body more time to absorb it.
Water is important to your overall health.
Seniors, family members and homeowners are looking to Age Safe America for trusted information on home safety and aging-in-place solutions.
Age Safe America, LLC and Home Care Association of America (HCAOA) have negotiated an opportunity for all HCAOA Members to be preferred home care providers on the nationwide Age Safe® Services Registry. The Registry refers vetted professionals to aging Americans and their families. Members of the Age Safe Services Registry undergo a “best practices” background screening by their US based partner and/or belong to a reputable industry association and/or carry recognized professional credentials.
The Age Safe Services Registry is the only national network of Senior Home Safety Specialists™ and Aging Services Providers with a focus on home safety and independent living. As a trusted source, Age Safe America receives inquiries from seniors and their adult children looking for a myriad of services, products, recommendations and solutions to successfully grow old in the place they choose; which for 9 out of 10 older Americans is their own home.
The Home Care Association of America is the leading trade association for the home care industry. Since its founding, HCAOA has made standards of care and patient safety central to its mission. Through its Standards and Ethics Committee, HCAOA has developed guidelines for the hiring, screening, training, and supervising of caregivers at all levels, often going beyond what is required by state regulations.
HCAOA membership eligibility requirements highlight the values and practices that separate HCAOA members from other providers in the home care market. For example, HCAOA members are required to hire their caregivers as W2 employees, rather than independent contractors. While families may be tempted to hire caregivers working as independent contractors because they generally work for a lower hourly rate, they often fail to understand that their liability exposure can be even greater as they essentially become their caregivers’ employer.
“Quality home care services is an essential part of a successful aging in place plan, and Age Safe America’s vision and core values align well with HCAOA,” said Phil Bongiorno, Executive Director of Home Care Association of America. “This partnership represents a leap forward in access to full-service care for the millions of seniors choosing to age at home. Our member providers will be able to forge new partnerships with other key service providers, and the Age Safe® Services Registry will benefit from a wider array of home care providers.”
Age Safe America was created in an effort to help reduce and prevent falls and their associated costs. They have positioned themselves as training and consulting leaders with their Senior Home Safety Specialist™ certification. Since 2015 Age Safe America has trained professionals throughout North America, Europe and the Middle East to meet the growing need for home safety assessments and aging in place home modifications. The company has trained healthcare professionals, home care providers, case managers, social workers, first responders, entrepreneurs, industry executives, assisted living communities, realtors, senior move managers, contractors, remodelers, home inspectors, handyman services, as well as staff and leadership of non-profit and Fortune 100 companies.
“We are very excited to initiate this partnership with the HCAOA and its quality membership. So far this year the Registry has seen considerable growth. Currently we are working with other leading industry associations and organizations with the same high level of standards to continue building the Registry nationwide,” said Steven Bailey, Managing Director of Age Safe America, LLC.
About Age Safe America, LLC
Age Safe® America is a national membership, training and advocacy organization. Since 2015 the company has been directed by recognized experts in fall prevention, senior home safety, aging- in-place, universal design, home modifications, environmental assessment, and marketing to seniors and aging boomers. They provide training, consulting, certifications, product reviews, tools, resources and support to businesses and organizations providing products and services to seniors and their adult children.
About Home Care Association of America
Founded in 2002, the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA) is the industry’s leading trade association – currently representing nearly 3,000 companies that employ more than 500,000 caregivers across the United States. HCAOA serves as the home care industry’s unified voice. Representing a diverse number of small, mid-level and large corporations, HCAOA unites the industry through speaking with one voice in Washington, D.C. and state capitals across the country. HCAOA protects industry interests, promotes industry values, tackles barriers to growth and takes on industry-wide issues.
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