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What to do When the Caregiving Journey Ends? (Canada)

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You get Mom to her appointments, help her grocery shop and run errands. You even do some light housework and help with her laundry. These simple acts put you into the category of a family caregiver. For many, this role is something treasured, albeit challenging at times.

Do you find yourself daydreaming about what you’ll do when you’re retired or no longer providing care for aging loved ones? Or, did family caregiving require you to leave your career early to provide care for your parents? Regardless of the circumstances, you will approach retirement – a time many people envision as the opportunity to do all the things they’ve been meaning to do for ages: travel, spend time with friends and grandkids, or even clean out the basement.

But after a while, retirees often find themselves longing for the structure, sense of purpose, and fulfillment of a career. If any of this rings true for you, maybe an “unretirement” career combining your skills, passion and experiences is just for you!

The retirement landscape is changing. Historically, people tended to stay retired after leaving the workplace. But now, more men and women are redefining what this chapter of their lives looks like. Recent research from Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead® network, suggests more than half (53%) of those who are still working and anticipate retiring in the next five years believe they are either somewhat or very likely to return to work after retirement, while 41% of those who are “unretired,” or have returned to work after announcing their retirement, believed they would do so.

What’s equally important to note is that nearly 80% of retirees and those soon to retire have a strong desire to make a meaningful impact with their next move. Many expressed interest in volunteerism or a role involving caregiving, teaching or giving back in some way.

While the common decision to return to work varies, financial stability proves to be the biggest motivator. Regardless of your motivation to unretire, the UnRetire Yourself program from Home Instead encourages older adults to find fulfillment working later in life. The campaign includes a variety of free tools and resources for older workers and numerous inspirational stories of those living out their unretired dreams.

You’re already a caregiver with on the job “experience” and a career as a professional caregiver is one rewarding option that can provide you many of the sought-out retirement job benefits, including applying talents in a position that is challenging, engaging and makes a positive difference for local older adults and their families. Watch Kookie’s video for more inspiration and real-life details of what it’s like to be a professional caregiver.

Seventy-three-year-old, Rich Vyhlidal speaks the truth: “The world doesn’t stop because you are retired.” This statement is so true that he’s unretired twice! After serving in the military, working thirty-nine years with a major food processor, it was time to retire. But, two weeks into retirement he knew he needed a purpose to fill his days and found peace in a groundskeeper job a local university and then as a driver for a senior living facility. Hear more of Rich’s story in this video.

Rich’s wife, Dianne, spends her unretired days working three days a week as an office manager and thoroughly enjoys the social interaction it brings. “If you sit at home, you’ll age a lot faster,” Dianne advises prospective retirees. “My fulfillment was going back to work. At the end of the day, Rich and I have something to talk about. It’s important to a marriage to have something to come home and share with one another. Look for something you’re really going to enjoy.”

Watch Dianne’s full unretirement story.

If these stories of the unretired lit a spark for you to investigate what’s out there after retirement, visit to find your unretirement personality, the benefits of unretiring, tips for getting back into the workforce and more.

Last revised: October 2, 2018

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