Why Leading a Purposeful Life is Important for Healthy Aging

July 15, 2022 | Senior Health
Happy volunteer family separating donations stuffs on a sunny day

Finding meaningful work and activities can be a challenge for older adults during their retirement years. This is often when they have left the workforce and children have grown and moved out of the home. For some, it can be difficult to determine what to do next.

Retirees don’t lose their desire to live a purposeful life – the challenge is finding the right opportunity. Astral at Auburn empowers residents to enjoy lives of vitality and purpose by offering different activities and events to build relationships, develop new skills, and follow their passions.

Our senior living team is looking at the importance of leading a purposeful life and how it impacts healthy aging through physical and mental health benefits. By committing to live a more purposeful life, you also open the door to opportunities that you may have never considered before.

Benefits of a Purposeful Life

People want to feel useful and needed. It is a driving force that allows us to succeed in our homes, in our workplace and our relationships. That feeling does not go away as we age – if anything, older adults are more keenly attuned to the need for purpose. The challenge is that some of the most common areas people find meaning – careers or raising a family – come to a natural end with age.

Without a reason to face the day, a goal to achieve, or a role to fulfill, older adults run the risk of becoming socially isolated or experiencing a negative self-image. 

Conversely, an older adult leading a purposeful life is more likely to live longer and healthier. According to the National Library of Medicine, “[purpose in life] has been associated with positive health outcomes among older adults, including fewer chronic conditions, less disability, and reduced mortality.” While another study found that “purposeful individuals tend to be less reactive to stressors and more engaged, generally, in their daily lives, which can promote cognitive and physical health.”

The reasoning behind this is clear: individuals who have a reason for their daily activities often take better care of their health needs, so they can continue to participate in those meaningful activities. Also, with reduced stress, they lower their risk of cognitive decline and cardiovascular disease. 

How to Lead a More Purposeful Life

The health benefits of living with purpose are evident, but the main obstacle is not necessarily why you should live with purpose but how to find opportunities for meaningful work.

At Astral at Auburn, we take pride in offering residents meaningful and fulfilling experiences each day. We understand the importance of living with purpose and work to ensure that residents always have the chance to positively impact their own lives and the lives of their family, friends, and community.

If you are searching for ways to live a more purposeful life during your retirement years, many excellent opportunities are available to you. Some possibilities could include:

  • Learning a new skill at your local community center
  • Playing music and practicing an instrument
  • Volunteering with charitable organizations in your community
  • Helping your neighbor
  • Starting a garden in your backyard
  • Joining a community group or club
  • Spending time painting or taking photographs

In addition to these, some retirees may choose to leverage their current skills or knowledge. For example, finding a part-time job or tutoring students or young professionals.

There are many opportunities to live with purpose within your community, and the benefits will serve not only you but also the people around you. When searching for meaningful activities, it helps to determine what you love to do already. For example, if you enjoy working with animals, you might want to consider volunteering at your local animal shelter. Or, it can be as simple as offering to walk your neighbor’s dog while they are at work during the day.

What is most important is to find activities that fill your life with joy and fulfillment. That alone will often lead to a healthier, happier and more purposeful life.

Visit our website today to learn more about Astral at Auburn and our independent living, assisted living and memory care services.

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