What exactly is it that gets you out of bed every morning? If you’re part of the sandwich generation, taking care of both younger and older loved ones, your list is probably quite long! As the nest empties, however, it becomes vital to redefine our identity and discover new ways to bring meaning to each and every day.
The impact of helping seniors find purpose in life are even more far-reaching than we once understood. A recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry revealed that older adults with a strong sense of purpose displayed stronger walking speeds and hand grips, which are two crucial determinants in how quickly we are aging.
The main reason? 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 Cultivate Purpose for the Older Adults You Love?
A feeling of purpose, of course, looks different for each and every individual. A good starting point is by creating a list of what the person likes and what skills they have. Then brainstorm ways these can be connected into a meaningful 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 wonderfully beneficial, or engaging in simple acts of kindness: baking cookies for the neighbors, starting and maintaining an herb garden, taking a course, taking care of the grandkids.
How Can Home Care Help?
One key way in-home care is helping seniors find purpose in life is by providing the inspiration as well as 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 to know each 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 person would like to go, making it straightforward to follow through and turn an idea into a reality.
Not only that, but it is always more pleasurable to attempt something new with a buddy by your side to cheer you on every step of the way. A caregiver from Golden Harmony is the ideal support for older adults to provide the encouragement needed, together with a complete range of care services to help overcome any barriers to trying something new.
For additional ideas and hands-on help with implementing them, contact Golden Harmony online or call 919-426-7522. We are always available to help older adults in the Triangle area live their best life!