Vignettes in Aging – Self-Esteem

Is self-esteem still important by the time we hit out senior years? Shouldn’t we be there already? Do we continue to struggle with low self-esteem at this point in our lives?

The answers are yes, no, and yes.

Self-esteem is important in our later years because without it we can easily slide into depression.

It’s not that we didn’t have a high level of confidence in middle age; it’s that older adults experience a change in roles such as an empty nest, retirement, and obsolete work skills in addition to declining health.

Loss of independence, including mobility, means that we need to adjust to a new way of living, and this can be disconcerting. Seniors can feel more vulnerable as they age.

All these factors affect self-esteem.

Some things that you can do to increase self- esteem now is:  talk about it with someone you trust, revisit some hobbies you enjoyed in the past, and look for new things that please your well-being at this point in your life like classical music, books on tape, or mentoring a young person.

The next time you feel down, fearful, exasperated, or lonely, check out the possibility your self-esteem has taken a hit and begin to investigate what will work for you to get back to a level where you’re once again in control of your happiness.