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  • HART 10:09 am on 25/08/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Retired Husband Syndrome 

    RHS or Retired Husband Syndrome: Italian researchers found that almost “half of women with newly retired husbands complain of increasing levels of stress, depression and sleeplessness.”


  • HART 2:34 pm on 26/06/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Connection with friends, ,   

    Happiness in Retirement? 

    I know many couples who are having great difficulty living in each other’s company after retirement. I recall my own grandparent’s slight bickering and now I see this problem with my husband and me. My close friends who have partners/spouses alive, appear to be in the same bind. Love’s young dream is a distant memory and you feel as though you are just ”Putting up with”  each other. I do feel it seems to be the men who find it the most difficult, as women generally have been busier prior to retirement. This atmosphere leads to resentment and both parties feeling they would be better off without the other[Not wishing them dead!!] Although there is still a great sense of loyalty to each other, there is constant stress and debate, i.e. nagging, not listening ,and disagreement.

    Twenty years ago I would have dismissed this happening to us but it has, and I do not know what preparation could have eased this. It just creeps up on you.   This may be different for people who have not had children, as they would have been in slightly closer proximity during all of their relationship, not just in retirement.

    I need to clarify that those negative aspects of our retired relationship is not like this all the time ,and I am probably giving you a slightly biased viewpoint as it is mostly from the female perspective. This is not just my own experience .I have talked to a few women that I know well. My own mother used to complain that my father had “taken over” and watched everything she did in the home, whereas before he had stayed in the garden ,”his domain” if you like .These are niggly things, but can aid to undermine the retirement years.

    Unless you have POTS of money, early retirement can be quite destructive too. In our case we both do voluntary work, and to the outside world we probably seem like a happily retired couple. And some, not most, of the time we are. Am I seeking perfection? I truly don’t think so. I feel we are now just marking time, and so does my husband. And yet I do not feel depressed, rather in just  a static place.

    We lost our eldest son 2 years ago, and I think in a strange way it did  make us a bit closer. For my part, I had lost my mother a few months prior and that was a difficult time for me. And then there’s the kids marriage break ups. Life is never dull!! And the grandkids with their piercings etc which I can tolerate, but my husband cannot. So I guess we may not be as static as I had thought. I think that’s about enough for now I have been sufficiently carried away for one day!

  • HART 3:18 pm on 14/02/2014 Permalink | Reply
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    How are we keeping in touch? 

    How are we keeping in touch? Texting children and friends.Paper Cup Phone

    The ICC study was particularly interested in social connections. The ability to keep up connections with friends and family, and supportive social networks are understood to be an important part of healthy ageing.  The ICC was tasked with examining how people keep in touch, and the ways in which people stay connected may be changing as society changes.

    Texting was the most popular method for keeping in touch with others.  Almost half of the ICC sample (45%) texted their children and friends two or three times a week or more. Around a quarter (27%) also texted relatives and neighbours (28%).

    Looking at the different age groups, we found that the frequency with which people talked or texted on the phone to their friends changed little with age, except for a small decrease after 74 years of age. Contact with relatives also dropped with increasing age. However, phone contact with children dropped steadily for those from 60 to 74 years of age (from 52% to 40%) before rising again to 45% of participants talking or texting at least 2-3 times per week after the age of 74. As people get older, they seem to keep in touch with neighbours more. The proportion of participants talking or texting twice a week or more to their neighbours rose from 20% to 39% in relation to the age of the participants.

    Meeting face to face was less common.  Around a quarter of the sample met with their children (26%), neighbours (21%), and friends (34%) twice a week or more. Very few met with other relatives this frequently (11%).  Meeting face to face with other people such as relatives and friends was very similar across all age groups.  Seeing children was also similar across the age groups except for those over the age of 74 who showed an increase in face to face contact with children (from 26% to 32% meeting twice a week or more).  As with phone contact, these older people were also more likely to report meeting their neighbours (14% of those under 74 years compared to 27% of those over 74 years).

    Online connections were fewer in this age group.  There was a moderate amount of online connection with children (20%) and friends (17%). Only 11%  interacted online twice a week or more with relatives and 3% with neighbours. Generally, there was no difference in how often different age groups spoke to friends, relatives, and neighbours online. There was a difference for speaking with children however, with 29% speaking twice a week or more dropping to around 19% for those aged over 65.

    Questions. The issues raised by these initial findings focus more on who is not connecting.  Older people in our sample are using a variety of ways of keeping in touch but the proportions for each mode are relatively small. Even texting to family and friends does not reach 50%.  Although the older age groups in the sample were more likely to have contact with children and neighbours, these remain relatively low proportions.  This raises questions about the difficulties of keeping in touch as we get older and the problems of isolation and loneliness that some older people face.

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