The Surprising Secret to Aging Well
Growing old gracefully is the goal of many aging individuals, but figuring out how to do so in a healthy manner is often a challenge. Seniors face many roadblocks that stand in the way of good health and the promise of a rich, fulfilling life as they age, which is why the focus on improving the lives of seniors is so important. It’s not enough to just make sure seniors stay alive; today, the goal is to ensure that they stay as healthy as possible in old age so that they can enjoy all that life has to offer. For many aging individuals and their families, this has meant focusing on exercise, nutrition and staying social. These are all wonderful areas of focus, and addressing them will almost certainly have a positive impact on any senior’s life. However, new research suggests that living a “purposeful” life in advancing age may be the most beneficial thing seniors can do.
A “Purposeful” Life — What Does it Mean?
Living a “purposeful” life could be the secret to aging well and in good health, but what does it mean to be “purposeful”?
Mostly, it means living a life that doesn’t concede meaning to younger generations. In other words, older individuals who still see themselves as vital and helpful to their communities tend to stay healthier, live longer and suffer much less from depression and other forms of mental illness. They also tend to find themselves at lower risk for developing forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s Disease.
For many seniors, living with “purpose” means volunteering as tutors for troubled kids or serving as Senior Companions for at-risk families. But it could take on almost any form; really, living a “purposeful” life is all about recognizing that there’s still plenty left to contribute to the world and finding ways to manifest the desire to give back.
What Purpose Does
Here’s what researchers have found:
– Seniors with a more positive outlook on life tend to live more than seven years longer than their less-positive peers
– A higher rating on measurable “purpose-of-life” scales correlates directly to a decreased likelihood of cognitive decline
– Residents of senior communities who focus on living “purposeful” lives enjoy a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s
– When surveying senior volunteers, researchers found that 94% experienced improved mood; 76% responded saying that they felt healthier; 78% reported feeling lower stress levels
What Seniors Can Do to Find Purpose
Volunteering is the best way to connect seniors with opportunities to find purpose in their lives. While most volunteer opportunities are geared toward those with younger minds and bodies, there are plenty of volunteer options for seniors in every community. All it takes to find them is a simple search or getting in contact with a reputable senior agency.
Always Best Care Can Help
If you’re caring for a senior loved one who needs more purpose in their life, Always Best Care can help you open the door to opportunity! Our experienced caregivers understand that while a senior may not be able to do everything, there’s still plenty they can do to help others! Call us today at 1 (855) 470-CARE (2273) to learn more and to schedule your FREE consultation!