Aging parents sometimes lose their zest for life

My parents are in their 70s and have lost their passion for life. They have a hard time finding meaning and purpose. Is there any advice or resources that would challenge them to find purpose again?

Question: My parents are in their 70s and have lost their passion for life.

They have a hard time finding meaning and purpose.

Is there any advice or resources that would challenge them to find purpose again?

Juli: Your parents are fortunate to have a child as concerned for them as you are.

Although we tend to slow down and retreat in our 70s, staying active is important to good physical, mental and spiritual health.

There are two primary obstacles to activity that you can help your parents overcome. The first is the lack of initiative.

Throughout their lifetimes, your parents have always had things that must be done.

Work, children, household responsibilities and community expectations get us out of bed, off the couch and into life.

Without the pressure of earning money or having people depend on them, your parents lack the motivation to get moving.

The second obstacle is the belief that they have nothing to contribute.

We live in a culture that prizes strong bodies, young faces and quick minds.

The wisdom and maturity that come in the later years are all too often undervalued.

Older men and women don’t feel welcomed or needed anywhere.

You can address both of these obstacles by inviting and welcoming your parents into your life.

Help them discover how much they have to offer you, their grandchildren, their church and their community.

There are many nonprofit organizations that function because of their senior volunteers.

Even within your own family, your parents need you to need them and regularly ask for their help and wisdom. Your initial motivation may be for their good, but you’re likely to be surprised how much your parents can actually bless and help you.

Question: My husband recently took an out-of-town job, which means we see him only on weekends.

Our school-aged daughter has become very angry and depressed about this. Despite our reassurances, she insists that her daddy doesn’t love her anymore. What should we do?

Jim: It’s not uncommon for kids to react negatively to a sudden disruption in the family routine.

But it’s quite another thing to become, in your own words, “very angry and depressed.”

It is difficult to say without knowing more about your situation, but it’s possible that there may be other issues contributing to your daughter’s strong emotional backlash — subtle problems that have been brought to the surface as a result of this current “crisis.”

Whether you believe her behavior is only the result of her dad’s change in schedule, or indicative of deeper issues, we would encourage you to consult a psychologist or family therapist.

It’s important that the entire family be involved in this process. For a list of licensed practitioners in your area, contact Focus on the Family.

In the meantime, you and your husband need to make some hard decisions about how to balance career and family in the future.

We’re of the opinion that your present arrangement should be viewed as a temporary measure.

If your husband’s job in the other city is expected to be a long-term commitment, we’d encourage you to think about relocating.

Otherwise, we’d advise your husband to consider looking for employment closer to home, even if that means taking a cut in pay.

Until then, he can help ease the stress by keeping in close contact while on the road. I make it a point to call and talk with my boys at least once a day when I’m traveling, and to send pictures and other updates from my smartphone.

Submit your questions to: ask@FocusOnTheFamily.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels defenceman Mason Ward battles with a Medicine Hat Tigers’ forward during the WHL Central Division season opener. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers come back to spoil Red Deer Rebels home opener

It’s been nearly 345 days since the Red Deer Rebels last played… Continue reading

Students walk into Hunting Hills High School, which is one of the Red Deer Public Schools with solar panels on its roof. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)
Red Deer high school was placed in lockdown following potential threat

Hunting Hills High School was placed in a lockdown Friday after Red… Continue reading

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some details of the provincial government’s 2021-22 budget need to be ‘sorted out’ when it comes to the hospital expansion funding. (File photo by Advocate staff)
More detail needed regarding hospital funding, says Red Deer mayor

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some information is unclear regarding the… Continue reading

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Thorough sanding of a table top is usually the first step to renewing a finish. Wax contaminants can sometimes still remain on a surface like this after sanding. Cleaning with rubbing alcohol and a rag gets rid of these contaminants without leaving a residue behind. (Photo by Steve Maxwell)
Houseworks: Fixing wood finishes

Q: How can I stop polyurethane from beading up on a mahogany… Continue reading

Need a knife? There are knives of all shapes and sizes at The Kitchen Store.
Hints from Heloise: Finding a good set of kitchen knives

Dear Readers: A good set of knives in the kitchen is a… Continue reading

Runner Melissa Bishop-Nriagu speaks to the media at the opening news conference at the Canadian Track and Field Championships Thursday, July 25, 2019 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canadian athletes struggling to find competition as they try to qualify for Tokyo

Canadian athletes struggling to find competition as they try to qualify for Tokyo

New York Red Bulls midfielder Jared Stroud, right, vies for the ball against Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio during an MLS soccer match in Harrison, NJ., Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. Entering his ninth season with Toronto FC, Jonathan Osorio said his off-season regimen was no different than in the past. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
Veteran TFC midfielder Jonathan Osorio looks to take it to the next level this season

Veteran TFC midfielder Jonathan Osorio looks to take it to the next level this season

Powell, Lowry help depleted Raptors beat Rockets

Powell, Lowry help depleted Raptors beat Rockets

Edmonton Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen (19) makes the save on Toronto Maple Leafs' Zach Hyman (11) as Tyson Barrie (22) defends during third period NHL action in Edmonton, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. Toronto continues to lead the North Division standings, but hard-charging Edmonton is now just four points back on the all-Canadian circuit heading into a three-game series between the teams in Alberta's capital beginning Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Maple Leafs, Oilers set for key three-game series atop North Division

Maple Leafs, Oilers set for key three-game series atop North Division

Angela James stands on centre ice in front of the Toronto Maple Leafs team after being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame before Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres NHL hockey action in Toronto on Saturday November 6, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Hall of Famers James, Lowe, Hay named to Order of Hockey in Canada

Hall of Famers James, Lowe, Hay named to Order of Hockey in Canada

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse talks to center Aron Baynes (46) and guard Norman Powell (24) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris O'Meara
Nurse, five Raptors assistants sidelined to due COVID-19 health and safety protocols

Nurse, five Raptors assistants sidelined to due COVID-19 health and safety protocols

Most Read