When it comes to making changes that improve the quality of life for seniors, diet plans and exercise programs get the lion’s share of attention. There’s another health-enhancing approach, however, that’s been attracting notice: the purpose-driven life. Scientific studies are finding that older adults who feel like their lives have a purpose have better physical, mental and emotional health outcomes than those who don’t.
Measuring the Benefits of a Purpose-Driven Life
Because there’s no objective way to measure the degree of purpose in a senior’s life, researchers often ask study participants whether they agree or disagree with statements like “I feel like I have more to accomplish in life” or “I feel like my life no longer has any meaning.” Omaha senior care specialists and scientists have found that people who score at the top of the purpose-driven scale are significantly less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or have a stroke than those at the bottom. Other health benefits include better physical function, sleep, and even a longer life.
Finding Purpose as an Older Adult
Although the definition of a purpose-driven life varies widely, people with purpose tend to derive meaning from their experiences with the world around them. They set goals and feel a sense of satisfaction when they achieve them. Activities that seniors may wish to consider include:
Around one-third of volunteers in the United States are adults over 60. Seniors report the most satisfaction when volunteering brings them into contact with people in need.
Enrolling in classes allows seniors to master different subjects, which can provide them with a strong sense of accomplishment. Whether taking a class at the local community college or online, there are plenty of options for seniors of all skills and interests.
Travel offers opportunities for seniors to explore the world and interact with different cultures and communities. Seniors can travel with friends and family or can enlist of the help of a live-in Omaha caregiver who can travel with them and ensure their safety and comfort at all times.
Purpose can be as simple a calling a sick friend on the phone or as life-changing as moving to a new country as a volunteer. Whatever the activity, seniors are more likely to thrive when their daily lives offer them a sense of fulfillment.
For more information about how Home Care Assistance of Omaha is helping seniors enjoy a purpose-driven life, reach out to a Care Manager at 402-763-9140 today. We are available 24/7 and are more than happy to answer any questions you may have related to senior care for an aging parent, relative or loved one. We look forward to hearing from you!