It’s no myth that many retirees suddenly find themselves with depression, but here’s what they can do to help.
A study in the online The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences says that online computer time can alleviate depression in retirees.
What’s really puzzling is that retirees are even depressed in the first place. Is this from not working a full-time job or is it just a coincidence? Have you ever wondered why someone, who feels depressed over the prospect of retirement, doesn’t just continue working?
If a retiree is depressed, that person needs to get busy. If nobody will hire them, then they can do volunteer work. There’s never too many volunteers in this world.
In the study sample, the researchers noted that use of the Internet lowered the probability of depression by 33 percent.
Though depression affects around five to 10 million U.S. people over age 50, does this necessarily mean it’s mostly linked to retirement? Seems to me there’d be a lot more people depressed BECAUSE they must work full-time.
“Retired persons are a population of interest,” begin Cotten et al, “particularly because one mechanism by which Internet use may affect depression is to counter the effects of isolation and loneliness, which are more common among older adults.”
Depression, Isolation and Loneliness in Retirement
Is this isolation and loneliness, that Cotten et al speak of, a direct result of retirement? Or something that just comes with age, like arthritis?
If someone feels depressed due to isolation and loneliness in retirement, why don’t they just get out there and mingle with people? My father, retired, started a big bridge club. My retired parents at one point were in three bowling leagues at the same time. My father goes to the gym three times a week and used to play golf a lot (no longer can due to back pain).
My father once told me, several years after he retired, “I’m so busy I don’t know how I ever had time to work.”
If a retiree is feeling depressed, lonely and isolated, then I recommend getting involved in exercise. As a personal trainer, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of structured exercise for people in their golden years.
Another activity that retired people can do is read story books to children sick in hospitals. Plant flower gardens at foster homes. Take dogs at animal shelters for walks. What are you passionate about? Then get out there and do something with this passion.
Start a blog! It’s free!
Cotten et al’s study says that Internet use can be effective at reducing the older person’s feeling of depression, loneliness and isolation. A retiree can even make money off of a blog. A retiree has the time to research how to do this.