What is it that gets you up out of bed every day? If you are part of the sandwich generation, caring for both older and younger loved ones, your list is probably quite extensive! As the nest empties, however, it becomes important to redefine our identity and learn new ways to bring meaning to each day. In fact, the effects of finding ways to build a life of purpose and meaning for seniors are even more extensive than we previously thought.
A recent research study released in JAMA Psychiatry found that older adults with a powerful feeling of purpose displayed more robust hand grips and walking speeds, which are two crucial determinants in how rapidly we are aging.
The reason? Patrick Hill, assistant professor of psychological and brain studies at Washington University, shares, “Purposeful individuals tend to be less reactive to stressors and more engaged, generally, in their daily lives, which can promote cognitive and physical health.”
How Can You Help Cultivate Purpose and Meaning for the Seniors You Love?
A sense of purpose, without a doubt, manifests differently for each individual. A good starting point is by developing a list of what the person enjoys and what skills they have. Then brainstorm ways these can be combined into a meaningful outlet. For example, maybe a retired carpenter who loves animals could volunteer at the local pet rescue shelter, repairing or building a storage shed. An individual who enjoys reading and children could host a regular story time at the library.
Even setting and achieving minor goals is wonderfully beneficial, or participating in simple acts of kindness: baking cookies for the neighbors, starting and maintaining an herb garden, signing up for a new class, taking care of the grandkids.
How Can Home Care Help?
One important way in-home care can help is by providing the motivation and the means to cultivate and carry out ideas for a more purposeful life. Our caregivers serve as companions for the individuals we serve. We get acquainted with every individual personally, learning about their interests, likes, and dislikes, providing the springboard to brainstorming ideas for meaningful activities together.
We also offer transportation and accompaniment anywhere an older adult would like to go, which makes it easy to follow through and turn an idea into a reality.
Not only that, but it’s always more enjoyable to try something new with a buddy by your side to cheer you on each step of the way. A caregiver from Serenity Home Care is the perfect support for older adults to offer the encouragement needed, in conjunction with a comprehensive range of care services to help conquer any barriers to trying something new.