Essential Conversations with Dr. Amy: Embracing what will trigger a change in your life

Moving Boxes in the Living Room

When I meet with my clients I always encourage them to think about how they will maintain choice, control and independence as they age—key aspects of life I believe all of us want to preserve. In order to do that, I suggest we ask ourselves this question: If there were a change in my health or mobility, what would I do differently? When answering this, we need to consider where we might live, how we might manage the tasks associated with living and caring for ourselves, what type of transportation we might use if we are currently dependent on driving, and with whom and how we would spend our time.

Continue reading

Essential Conversations with Dr. Amy: Planning for our later years

Open laptop with red notebook on office wooden desk table. Top view.

Over the span of my career I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with thousands of Canadians about their retirement years. For many, this period of their lives lasts about 20-30 years—sometimes longer!—and what I have noted is that people usually have big plans for their first few years of retirement. Traveling more is the number one thing people say they are going to do. Other common early retirement plans include volunteering, pursuing a hobby or activity they haven’t had time for in the past, spending more time with their family, and even working part-time.

Continue reading

Essential Conversations with Dr. Amy: Maintaining emotional balance during a life transition

Portrait of the smiling elderly woman. A photo on the autumn background

You may find that big changes in your life—like a move to a retirement residence— can stir up a mixture of emotions that can make you feel a bit off-balance, even when the change is a positive one. The degree to which a move or other change can feel disruptive varies greatly from person to person. Some of us regain our mental equilibrium very quickly, while others go through a longer process of adaptation.

Continue reading

Essential Conversations with Dr. Amy: Are You “Ready Enough?”

Cheerful Senior Man

There are several reasons that the gap between how old we feel and how old we are increases as we age. Some of it may have to do with society’s negative stereotypes of aging and our recognition we don’t fit that stereotype, and don’t want to fit that stereotype! And some of it may be due to the fact that it is often hard to recognize some of the changes we are experiencing as we age: changes other people may see before we notice them, and changes we may easily see in other people.

Continue reading

Essential Conversations with Dr. Amy: Are we ever too old to date?

Amorous senior couple

If you were to ask an adult child if they would like their parent to have companionship in their later years, he or she would likely say “yes.” However, most just don’t expect that companionship to come in the form of their parent dating! From experience with my clients, I have found that if a parent has a romantic relationship in their later years, it can be an uncomfortable change for their adult children. It stirs up surprising emotions and is an Essential Conversation most people don’t want to have – parent or adult child! So what is all this discomfort about and how can we get through this with more ease and harmony?

Continue reading

Essential Conversations with Dr. Amy: Managing Expectations Between Older Adults and their Adult Children

Senior women at home.

When I ask people whom they think will help them when they get older, without hesitation most answer “my children.” It’s true that adult children are often a notable source of support as people age. And—if a person has adult children who haven’t always gotten along—they may tell me they know their kids will be […]

Continue reading