Life after retirement

Linda had recently retired from a career in education.  She enjoyed a lot of things about being retired, such as the lie in’s and not having to be somewhere. But found she was struggling to adjust to this new phase of her life as she was feeling alone.  She had very little structure to her week and a lot of time to fill.  Linda wanted to strike a balance between doing something meaningful, finding something she enjoyed, having some social contact but also time for herself so that she can make the most of her retirement and enjoy this phase of life.

Listening to Linda

Our Community Co-ordinator met with Linda at a venue of her choice and spent some time listening to her to try understand her situation.  Linda was very resourceful and independent but seemed like she could do with a little support to find her way with this new chapter of her life.  Together, we discussed potential activities based on Linda’s skills and interests.  Linda was given time to consider these at her own pace and was given some suggestions about local groups and organisations she may find interesting.  At our next meeting, Linda had already made contact with a few of the groups.  She had arranged to volunteer one morning a week with an over 50s group, she had tried an art class, and she had booked onto a walking group the next day. Already Linda reported feeling better and she put this down to the activities she had been doing since the first meeting.

Impact of retirement

Transition into retirement can be more challenging than many first think.  Moving away from a network of friends and colleagues; the structure of a job; and the feelings of achievement, success and job satisfaction can easily be missed when they disappear.  Days can be long and difficult to fill and, after looking forward to something for so long, the feelings that come with this can catch people unawares.  This was perhaps some of what Linda was feeling when she contacted Community Plus for support.

Bouncing back

The meetings with the Community Co-ordinator gave Linda the opportunity to discuss options available to her, gave her space to consider these new ideas and the confidence to try them out.  Linda was able to work at her own pace and it wasn’t long before she felt more back on her feet and able to continue independently into her retirement. Linda said that “Having someone to bounce ideas off and someone to listen to her was a great help.  The connections given to me by Community Plus have helped me achieve my goal”.

Three months later…

Three months after ending our support, Linda had successfully started volunteering at a local group for over 50s and had started the process of taking up another voluntary post as a befriender.  Linda was enjoying her art group and had met some new friends.  She had taken up a dance class which she found out about through Community Plus and was finding that her fitness had improved.

From working with Community Plus Linda not only did Linda achieve her aim of adjusting to retirement, but she feels more confident and equipped to navigate any further bumps in the road due to the approach used by Community Plus of working with the person.

Linda is now enjoying retirement much more; she has a level of structure that works for her and does the things she enjoys.  We hope she will be enjoying better health for longer and has an improved quality of life because of the changes she made.  Linda has recently come along to some pebble painting sessions at Birstall Library and has painted and donated her own Pebble to the Community Plus Team.  It’s superb, thank you Linda!