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Retirement is what many see as a luxurious reward after a lifetime of hard work and dedication, while others see it as a loss of purpose and ability. Whether you came by choice, or faced the harsh reality of old age or serious injury, the inevitable battle many will face is navigating their new identities and endless free time.
The impact of retirement
Events that mark the end of a career can be showy, flashy, and fancy, or simple, mundane, and hard to remember.Regardless of how one’s career ends, research shows that within the first few years of retirement, people 40% more likely to suffer from depression, and were 60% more likely to start substance abuse. “I had tears in my bed after winning the Super Bowl,” Robert Gronkowski says, he had to retire at the age of 29 due to a series of serious injuries and mental health issues. 39 years old, astronaut Buzz Aldrin Becomes the second man on the moon, then returns to Earth, becomes an alcoholic and endures three failed marriages. While these are post-career specific examples, the general truth we can speculate is that everyone needs a sense of purpose, perhaps even more so in retirement.
Young celebrities aren’t the only ones who see the sunset in their careers, as most people reach a stage in their lives where they can no longer do physical work. My mother has been a nurse for over 50 years. Her five-year career in patient advocacy ended when she was no longer able to continue her rigorous nursing career. Ten years later, she’s enjoying a wonderful retirement with Netflix marathons, book clubs, and grandchildren. While physically she may not be able to save lives the way she did half a century ago, her mind is undoubtedly as sharp as ever, and she will cherish any opportunity to impart her medical wisdom to the world.
Related: The Modern Retirement Mindset: Boosting Meaning and Purpose by Becoming ‘Work Optional’
How Metaverse Can Help
Entering the Metaverse: A series of enduring virtual worlds born from the dream of the Internet, reimagining yourself without borders, while connecting people on a global scale. This new frontier of infinite experiences could open doors for every industry imaginable. People like my mother can now almost work within a medical facility without any limitations imposed by physical limitations. An elderly teacher with limited mobility may severely limit their ability to stand and lecture, but they can still connect with students virtually and do the same coursework as they would in a traditional classroom setting.Companies like VictoryXR are creating Fully immersive virtual classroom Students can learn about dinosaurs within reach of a life-size Tyrannosaurus rex, or read to kill a robin Stand next to Atticus Finch in a digital recreation of Harper Lee’s Real Court.
Steady progress is also being made to help make the metaverse more inclusive; not only for the elderly, but also for the disabled. Virtual reality companies have launched augmented reality hearing aids and glasses to address hearing and visual impairments, respectively. For those with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), ProjectVOISS (Virtual Reality Opportunities to Integrate Social Skills) have been introduced to use virtual reality to reformulate social communication and help individuals with ASD treatment. In the Metaverse, people with paraplegia, who struggle to see new places in their travels, can now visit many destinations that might have been hindered by their previous economic and physical limitations.
As companies like Disney, Apple, and Microsoft move into virtual worlds, and entire cities create digital replicas of them, there is renewed hope that our bodies will no longer limit our exploration of the universe, and that the only limitations we may soon face are our own imagination.
Siri: Set a reminder to read the Metaverse every morning so I don’t miss it.
Related: Some Predictions About How the Metaverse Will Affect Our Lives