When we arrived at Lewisville Estates ten months ago, we were quite apprehensive to begin a whole new way of life in our old age. However, we were warmly greeted by residents and staff alike. We were most pleasantly surprised with our new apartment and quickly settled into our new home. We have been very contented and happy here.
Living With a Purpose Back
In many ways, having a purpose in life directly correlates with one’s overall satisfaction and happiness, better physical functioning, and better sleep! Dr. Patricia Boyle, a neuropsychologist at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago says that having purpose is “a very robust predictor of health and wellness in old age.” The Rush Center also reported that purpose in life, all by itself, appears to have a potent ability to improve and extend lives.
So what does living with a purpose mean? If your strength and mobility is declining as your dependence on others increases, it may seem difficult to understand what your purpose in life may be now. There are many ways you can find purpose in your life by making a contribution to others around you that will help you extend beyond yourself. Here are a few ideas you may want to explore if you are looking for ways to fill your life with purpose:
- Passing your experiences or memories on to younger people
- Spending more time on activities you enjoy (i.e. a sport or a craft)
- Using your work skills in a new way
- Taking care of grandchildren
- Volunteering in and around your community
- Writing your life history and sharing it with loved ones
Setting small goals to find more meaning in life will motivate you to keep going, and to keep trying. Eleanor Roosevelt once said that, “the purpose of life is to live it, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” Often times, a sense of purpose will arise from learning something new, working together with others, making new social connections when others are lost, and accomplishing a new goal. If it is time to redefine your purpose in life, go at your own pace and take time to explore as many options as you need. Finding fulfillment is a process; it comes from deep within and it is long-lasting.