How to Create Purpose for Older Adults and the Benefits They’ll Achieve


Learn how to create purpose for older adults and the life-changing benefits it provides.

What is it that gets you out of bed every morning? If you’re a member of the sandwich generation, caring for both older and younger loved ones, your list is probably quite extensive! As the nest empties, however, it becomes vital to redefine our identity and discover new ways to bring meaning to each day. And it’s especially imperative to understand how to create purpose for the older adults in our lives.

The effects of continuing to live purposefully for a lifetime are even more extensive than we previously understood. A recent research study published in JAMA Psychiatry uncovered that individuals with a powerful feeling of purpose displayed more robust walking speeds and hand grips, which are two crucial determinants in how quickly we’re aging.

The main reason? Patrick Hill, assistant professor of psychological and brain studies at Washington University, shares, “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 Create Purpose for the Older Adults You Love?

A sense of purpose, of course, looks different for each individual. A great place to begin is by developing a list of what the person likes and what skills they have. Then brainstorm ways these can be connected into a purposeful outlet. For example, maybe 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 children could volunteer at a local elementary school.

Even setting and achieving minor goals is incredibly helpful, or engaging in simple acts of kindness: baking cookies for the neighbors, starting and maintaining an herb garden, taking a course, caring for the grandkids.

How Can Home Care Help?

One important way in-home care can help is by providing the inspiration as well as the means to cultivate and implement ideas for a more purposeful life. Our caregivers serve as companions for the seniors we serve. We get to know every 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 an individual wants to go, which makes it simple to follow through and turn an idea into a reality.

Not just that, but 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 CareWorks Health Services is the perfect support for seniors to provide the encouragement needed, in conjunction with a full range of care services to help conquer any barriers to trying something new.

For additional ideas and hands-on assistance with implementing them, contact CareWorks Health Services at (949) 859-4700. We are always available to help!