March 14, 2023 by Dean Bellefeuille

An elderly woman enjoys time with her grandchildren

What exactly is it that gets you up out of bed each and every morning? If you are a member of the sandwich generation, caring for both older and younger loved ones, your list is likely quite extensive! As the nest empties, however, it becomes important to redefine our identity and discover new ways to bring meaning to each and every day. In fact, the benefits of purpose for seniors are even more far-reaching than we once believed.

A recent research study released in JAMA Psychiatry revealed that individuals with a powerful sense of purpose displayed stronger hand grips and walking speeds, which are two key determinants in how quickly we are 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 Seniors You Love?

A sense of purpose, naturally, looks different for each person. A good starting point is to make a list of what the older adult likes and what skills they have. Then think through ways these can be combined into a purposeful outlet. For example, perhaps a retired carpenter who loves animals could volunteer at the local pet rescue shelter, building or repairing a storage shed. An individual who enjoys reading and kids could volunteer at a local elementary school.

Even setting and achieving minor goals is noticeably helpful, or engaging in simple acts of kindness. This could include starting and maintaining an herb garden, baking cookies for the neighbors, taking a course, and taking care of the grandchildren.

How Can Home Care Help?

One way in-home care can help preserve purpose for seniors is by providing the motivation and the means to cultivate and carry out ideas for a more purposeful life. Our professional caregivers serve as companions for the seniors we serve. We get to know each individual personally, learning about their likes, dislikes, and interests, which provides the springboard to brainstorm ideas for meaningful activities together.

We also offer accompaniment and transportation around the community, which makes it easy to follow through with plans and turn an idea into a reality.

Looking beyond logistics and support, it is always more fun to try something new with a buddy by your side to cheer you on every step of the way. A caregiver from At Home Independent Living is the perfect support for seniors to offer encouragement needed, in conjunction with a complete range of care services to help alleviate any barriers to trying something new. A good place to begin is to learn more from our FAQs.

For additional ideas and hands-on assistance, explore help from At Home Independent Living at (315) 579-HOME (4663). We are always available to help, beginning with a free in-home consultation! Please see our full service area.