Sometimes older adults struggle with finding a purpose in their lives. Having retired from work, they may not know how to spend their time. They might also feel like their lives have little purpose and they aren’t of use to anyone. Unfortunately, that can lead to mental health problems, like depression. A recent study shows that people who have a purpose and can find meaning in their life are less likely to suffer from mental health issues and live healthier lives.
About the Study
The study involved over 1,000 people living in San Diego County. It took place over a 3-year period. Each participant completed a questionnaire concerning their physical and mental health. The questionnaire also assessed brain function. Participants also responded to questions that assessed whether they found meaning in their lives and whether they are continuing to search for meaning.
What gives people meaning is different from one person to the next. It also changes as people enter different phases of their lives. In their younger years, people tend to find meaning through their careers and raising children. After retirement, what brings them meaning changes and many older adults find themselves searching for meaning in their lives again.
The study showed that people who have found meaning in their lives, or a purpose, were more likely to have better physical and mental health. However, those still struggling to find a purpose might feel unhappy.
How Senior Care Can Help with Finding Purpose
Many older adults find purpose in their lives by finding ways to help other people. They might volunteer at a charity organization, make crafts to sell, or just find ways to assist their friends and neighbors. Some things your older family member might consider are:
- Volunteering at a local food pantry to stock shelves or check-in customers.
- Sellable crafts, like knitted or crocheted items, woodworking, or handmade cards.
- Making items to donate, like baby blankets or cancer caps.
- Cooking meals or treats for friends or neighbors in need.
- Sending cards and letters to military members.
Senior care can assist your aging relative with whatever their purpose is. One way they can do that is by offering transportation to places where the older adult volunteers or to stores to pick up supplies for making crafts. Senior care providers can also assist older adults in cooking meals and delivering them to others. If writing letters to service members is an interest for your aging relative, a senior care provider can help them address envelopes, apply stamps, or even write down what the older adult dictates.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care Libertyville, IL, call the caring staff at LifeCare Home Health & In-Home Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.