Health precautions for older divorced adults

Pierre Domercq Divorce

Researchers say that more adults who are 50 and older are seeking a divorce than in the past, but there are certain challenges that may be more prevalent in this age group than in others. For example, social isolation is already a risk for older adults, and divorce may lead to the dissolution of social ties for men in particular. The chronic stress of divorce may also exacerbate health problems that are more common among older people including high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease and heart disease. Older women who get a divorce might be financially vulnerable since they may have quit work to care for children or may have earned less throughout their career.
However, the effects of a divorce are not always negative. If the relationship was toxic or abusive, leaving it may be the healthier choice. Researchers say that expectations for marriage are changing, and this is one element that is causing more older people to end their marriage. Older adults who divorce may go on to pursue new relationships and interests.
Self-care that includes regular exercise, social activity and avoiding bad habits such as overeating or abusing alcohol can also help older people adjust to life after a divorce. Some people may find a dog offers companionship and a reason to get out and exercise. Physical symptoms should be checked out by a doctor, and a counselor may offer support.
Property division that leads to a secure retirement may be a major issue for people in this age group who get divorced, but some older couples may still have minor children at home as well. These children might be in their last year or two of high school and headed for college. While child support usually ends at 18, couples may want to talk about how they will pay for their children’s education and possibly even how they might contribute to other things such as weddings.