What keeps you going every day? If you’re a member of the sandwich generation, caring for both younger and older 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 and every day.
The benefits of maintaining purpose for seniors are much more far-reaching than we once thought. A recently available research study published in JAMA Psychiatry uncovered that seniors with a powerful sense of purpose demonstrated more robust walking speeds and hand grips, which are two key determinants in how quickly we are aging.
Why? Patrick Hill, assistant professor of psychological and brain studies at Washington University, explains, “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 Maintain Purpose for Seniors?
Developing a sense of purpose for seniors looks different for everyone. An excellent place to begin is by creating a list of what the person enjoys and what skills they have. Then think through ways these can be combined into a purposeful outlet. For example, maybe a retired carpenter who loves animals could volunteer at the local pet rescue shelter, repairing or building a storage shed. Someone who has always loved reading and children could be a volunteer reader at the local library.
Even setting and achieving minor goals is extremely helpful, or participating in simple acts of kindness: starting and maintaining an herb garden, baking cookies for the neighbors, taking a class, caring for the grandchildren.
How Can Home Care Help?
In-home care can be great help by providing the inspiration together with the means to cultivate and carry out ideas for a much more purposeful life. Our caregivers act as companions for the aging adults we care for. 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 accompaniment and transportation anywhere an individual would like to go, which makes it easy to follow through and turn an idea into a reality.
Not only that, but it is always more enjoyable to try something new with a buddy by your side to cheer you on every step of the way. A professional caregiver from JFS Care is the ideal support for older adults to provide the encouragement needed, together with a complete variety of care services to help conquer any barriers to trying something new.