April 3, 2020

Strategies to combat depression in retirement

Strategies to combat depression
in retirement

Going into a well-deserved retirement is a real joy for many people. Finally they have the time for friends, acquaintances, and activities such as chess, bowling, and hiking.

It’s not unusual for retirees to have a fuller diary than their children or grandchildren. Retirees often enjoy this period of their lives to the fullest when they’re able to take advantage of the innumerable benefits on offer.

However, there is also a downside to retirement. Not everyone has a social network that keeps them busy. Often, there is simply a lack of opportunities because of physical limitations or financial bottlenecks.

When a person feels they’re no longer needed

Being allowed to work gives everyone not only financial security but also a sense of identity. It is important for us to be able to do something meaningful for society. The possibility of personal fulfilment is one of the fundamental factors for us to be happy and content.

Those who are forced to retire face an uncertain and often bleak future that can have serious consequences. Many people fall into a negative state of mind and begin to feel no longer needed, no longer wanted, and worst of all, no longer liked.

Study: Early retirement shortens lifespan

According to a scientific study by the University of Zurich, there is a discernible link between early retirement and early death, especially among men. The study compared regions in Austria which were affected by structural waves of retirement in the early 1990s with those which were not. Researchers found that loss of social status, unhealthy changes in behavior, and lower incomes caused by early retirement increased the risk of early death.

Maintaining a social circle

A recently published study by the Institute for Labor Market and Occupational Research (IAB (in German)) shows the main reason why older people look for work in retirement: More than 60% of pensioners say they seek work for increased social contact with other people.

“Many people want to continue working voluntarily. It’s very identity-forming to continue working,” says Verena Klusmann, a gerontologist from the University of Hamburg.

Statistic : Why retirees keep working (in German)

Source (in German): IAB/Statista

Too little information about additional income opportunities

But how can you find a job as a retiree if you feel that you’re not allowed to? “By far the most frequently asked question on our job platform is: “Can I earn any money while I’m receiving my pension?”, says Daniel Eberharter, Head of Communications at WisR.

A lack of information about additional earning opportunities during retirement can turn frustration and fear into depression.

“We need to provide more information and low-threshold education opportunities for those most in need. Anybody can help. Talk to your relatives and ask them about their needs and wishes. Usually, the answers are closer than you think,” says Eberharter.

Not older, but wiser!

WisR (pronounced: “wiser”) is the first job platform for retirees who want to keep working and stay active during retirement.

WisR stands for know-how, competence, sensitivity, and the desire to share and pass on these qualities to the next generation.

The platform addresses the demographic trend affecting Austria and the world at large. By 2030, 44% of the population in Austria will be over 50 years old. (Source: Statistics Austria)

Our society is at the beginning of a great and beautiful challenge. The topic of working past retirement age will be the defining topic in the decades to come.