You may have thought that life coaches are only for people who want help advancing their career or those experiencing some sort of existential angst.
The truth, however, is that life coaching can benefit people in all walks of life — including older adults who are approaching retirement or have already achieved that milestone. In fact, some life coaches specialize in working with older adults.
A skilled life coach can assist you in reaching virtually any goal you may have, from starting a new business to shedding unwanted weight. If you don’t have specific goals, a life coach can help you establish some.
Life coaching is different from psychotherapy, though the two are complementary. Therapy typically focuses on the past, analyzing an individual’s experiences and patterns of behavior with the goal of helping them change troubling behaviors and thought processes to attain desired outcomes.
In contrast, life coaching starts with the present and looks forward. And, depending on what the goals are, life coaching generally lasts from a few weeks to a few months, whereas psychotherapy treatment can continue for years. Each case is unique.
If you’re planning to retire within a year or two and want to beat the odds of becoming a full-time couch potato — it happens more often, and more easily, than you might think — a life coach can help you explore your many options and then create a plan for pursuing the path you choose.
Your coach can also offer suggestions for staying on track as you get closer to the day you officially retire.
What if you’ve already retired? A life coach for older adults can help you:
Note that some life coaches also work with people who are caregivers for aging parents or a spouse who needs extra support. In this instance, the life coach helps the caregivers learn how to take better care of themselves while tending to their loved one’s needs. The life coach can also inform caregivers about additional resources available to them in their community.
These are just a few examples of how a life coach for older adults might help you. If you’re unsure whether you would benefit from life coaching, why not take a little time to find out?
According to IBISWorld, there are more than 23,000 life coaching businesses in the U.S. alone, a number that has steadily increased for many years.
As you might imagine, there’s a lot of variation in the skills and training among all of those life coaches. So where do you start looking if you want to hire one?
AARP recommends focusing on coaches who’ve been certified through a program accredited by a nationally recognized organization such as the International Coaching Federation or the National Career Development Association.
You can begin with an online search for life coaches near you. To more precisely target your search, you may want to specify “life coach for seniors.”
Check out the websites for coaches you want to know more about. See what their areas of specialization are. Find out if they offer a free initial consultation. If you can meet them in person or at least have a phone conversation, you’ll be able to better determine if they’re a good fit for you. Ask them to tell you about their experience. If possible, check out reviews and testimonials.
In some ways, the process of finding a life coach is similar to looking for a therapist, or even a doctor. You want to know you can trust them and feel comfortable interacting with them.
Also, be sure to ask about their fees. Here again, there’s a considerable range. Someone who has put in the time, effort and money to become certified will likely charge more than those who’ve decided they’re a good listener and are therefore qualified to coach others.
Remember, you’re investing in yourself and your future when you hire a life coach. Give yourself the opportunity to earn the highest return on your investment by choosing wisely.
Moving to a senior living community, such as The Variel, that offers an abundance of activities and amenities designed specifically for older adults is another option for enriching your life. We invite you check out the active lifestyle you can enjoy as an independent living resident.
If you would like to arrange a firsthand experience, contact us and we’ll gladly set up a time for you to come visit.