The Importance of Finding Purpose in Later Years

Senior adult teacher, mentor, or tutor assists Latin descent elementary age girl with homework in school classroom or library setting.
Finding purpose is crucial for older adults to maintain self-worth.

Think about a typical day in the life of a senior loved one. Ideally it includes plenty of uplifting and enriching experiences: savoring breakfast, engaging in an enjoyable hobby or interest, visiting with a relative or family member, watching a popular TV show. However, there’s a distinction between positivity and purpose; and the importance of a life rich with meaning and purpose is becoming more evident, particularly in the life of senior loved ones.

Viktor Frankl, world-renowned psychiatrist and survivor of the Holocaust, explains poignantly, “What matters is not the meaning in life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.”

For people whose identity happens to have been focused on a job and raising a family, and who now have reached a season of retirement and fulfilled family commitments, it can be challenging to find purpose. At JFS Care, we make it a top priority to help seniors access their passions and channel them into purposeful experiences, such as:

  • Volunteering. For a senior who adores little children, tutoring, reading to, or mentoring kids at an area school is a fantastic option. Others may care deeply about helping veterans, and could put together care packages of personal care products and snack food items to send overseas. And for animal lovers, delivering treats, blankets, and an affectionate heart to a pet shelter could be very satisfying.
  • Learning. It is true: you are never too old to master something new. Look at the local community college, library, or senior center to discover classes or online programs that might appeal to your loved one.
  • Helping at home. Well-meaning family caregivers frequently take over household tasks to free their senior loved ones from the responsibilities they have managed during their lifetime. Unfortunately, this could have the negative effect of leaving older adults feeling as though they’re no longer useful. Engage the senior in activities and tasks throughout the home which are within his / her expertise and interest, such as helping with cooking meals, folding laundry, arranging nuts and bolts in a toolbox, etc.
  • Recording family history. Providing the next generation with the unique genealogy and family history and stories experienced firsthand is a treasure that only senior loved ones can offer. Help your senior loved one record his or her lifetime legacy in a scrapbook, writing, or video recording, and then share with relatives.

And, get in touch with JFS Care, provider of the most trusted home care services Burbank and the surrounding area have to offer, for the personalized in-home support which helps seniors find purpose, while continuing to be safe and comfortable within the familiarity of home. We can provide transportation to engaging and meaningful activities, help plan and implement activities to accomplish right in the home, or take care of various daily tasks in the home, such as cleaning and cooking, enabling family members to enjoy high quality time together. You can contact us any time at (213) 383-2273.