retirement phase of the
family life cycle, many changes occur in your life.
Welcoming new family members or seeing others leave your family is often a
large part of this stage as your children marry or divorce or you become a
This stage can be a great adventure where you are
free from the responsibilities of raising your children and can simply enjoy
the fruits of your life's work. Challenges you may face include being a support
to other family members, even as you are still exploring your own interests and
activities or focusing on maintaining your relationship. Many people are caring for
elderly parents at this time. You may feel challenged by their emotional,
financial, and physical needs while trying to help them keep their
By Francesca L. Kritz
Consult Your Doctor
One night a few summers ago, when my 18-month-old daughter's mosquito bites
were making her itchy, cranky, and sleepless, I went to a 24-hour pharmacy to
buy antihistamine. It wasn't until I got home that I read the package
instructions: for children under 6, consult physician. By then it was after
10:00 p.m., and I didn't want to bother her doctor. So I guessed and gave Dina
a teaspoonful. As it turns out, the amount was right, but that...
You may experience declining physical and mental
abilities or changes in your financial or social status. Sometimes you must
deal with the death of other family members, including your partner. The quality
of your life at this stage depends on how well you adjusted to the changes in
earlier stages. It often also depends on how well you have cared for your own
health up to this point. Normal aging will affect your body, resulting in
wrinkles, aches, pains, and loss of bone density. The chances of having a
mental or chronic physical illness does increase with age. But aging does not
mean you will automatically experience poor health.
can be a fulfilling and happy time. Becoming a grandparent can bring you great
joy without the responsibility of raising a child. Those who are without
adequate support systems or not well off financially, though, may have a more
difficult time in this phase of life.
Specific goals to reach for
at this final stage of your family life cycle include:
Maintaining your own interests and physical
functioning, along with those of your partner, as your body
Exploring new family and social roles.
emotional support for your adult children and extended family
Making room in the family system for the wisdom and
experience of older adults.
Providing support for the older
generation without doing too much for them.
Dealing with the loss
of a partner, siblings, and other peers, and preparing for your own
Reviewing your life and reflecting on all you have learned
and experienced during your life cycle.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
January 25, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this