Maintaining a Sense of Purpose While Aging

What is it that gets you up out of bed every morning? If you’re a member of the sandwich generation, taking care of both younger and older loved ones, your list is likely quite extensive! As the nest empties, however, it becomes crucial to redefine our identity and discover new ways to establish purpose while aging.

The benefits of continuing to live purposefully for a lifetime are much more far-reaching than we once believed. A recently available research study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that individuals with a strong sense of purpose demonstrated more robust walking speeds and hand grips, two crucial determinants in how quickly we’re aging.

The reason? Patrick Hill, assistant professor of psychological and brain studies at Washington University, states, “Purposeful individuals tend to be less reactive to stressors and more engaged, generally, in their daily lives, which can promote cognitive and physical health.”

What Can You Do to Help Cultivate Purpose for the Older Adults You Love?

A sense of purpose, naturally, looks different for every person. A great place to begin is by creating a list of what the person likes and what skills they have. Then brainstorm ways these can be combined into a purposeful outlet. For instance, maybe a retired carpenter who loves animals could volunteer at the local pet rescue shelter, repairing or building a storage shed. Someone who enjoys reading and kids could host a weekly story time at the library.

Even setting and achieving minor goals is tremendously beneficial, or engaging in simple acts of kindness: starting and maintaining an herb garden, baking cookies for the neighbors, taking a course, or caring for the grandchildren.

How Can Home Care Help?

One important way in-home care can help is by providing the motivation together with the means to cultivate and carry out ideas for a much more purposeful life. Our caregivers serve as companions for the individuals we serve. We get acquainted with every individual personally, learning about their likes, dislikes, and interests, providing the springboard to brainstorming ideas for meaningful activities together.

We also provide transportation and accompaniment anywhere a senior would want to go, which makes it easy to follow through and turn an idea into a reality.

Not just 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 Radiant Health Services is the perfect support for older adults to offer the encouragement needed, in conjunction with a full variety of care services to help conquer any barriers to trying something new.

For further ideas and hands-on assistance with implementing them, contact Radiant Health Services at (240) 673-6377. We’re always here to help!

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