May 21, 2019

Senior adult teacher, mentor, or tutor assists Latin descent elementary age girl with homework in school classroom or library setting.

Help the seniors in your life find meaning and purpose with these tips.

Think about a normal day in the life of a senior loved one. Ideally it provides plenty of positive and enriching activities: enjoying breakfast, participating in a pleasurable activity or interest, visiting with a member of the family, watching a popular tv program. However, there is a difference between positivity and purpose; and the importance of a life rich with meaning and purpose is becoming more apparent, especially in the life of the elderly.

Viktor Frankl, world-renowned psychiatrist and survivor of the Holocaust, reveals poignantly, “What matters is not the meaning in life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.”

For people whose identity has been devoted to a job and raising a family, and who now are in a season of retirement and fulfilled family commitments, it may be hard finding meaning and purpose. At Continuum, we make it a main priority to help seniors discover their hobbies and interests and funnel them into purposeful experiences, such as:

  • Volunteering. For a senior who adores kids, tutoring, reading to, or mentoring kids at a neighborhood school is an ideal option. Others may care deeply about assisting veterans, and assemble care packages of personal care products and snacks to send overseas. Or for animal lovers, bringing treats, blankets, and an affectionate heart to a pet shelter could be very satisfying.
  • Learning. It’s true: you’re never too old to master something new. Look at the area community college, library, or senior center to discover courses or online programs of interest to your loved one.
  • Helping at home. Well-meaning family caregivers oftentimes take over household duties to free their senior loved ones from the chores they’ve taken care of throughout their lifetime. Unfortunately, this could have the negative effect of leaving older adults feeling as if they’re no longer useful. Engage the senior in tasks and responsibilities throughout the home which are within his or her expertise and interest; for example , helping with planning and preparing meals, folding laundry, sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox, etc.
  • Documenting family history. Furnishing the next generation with the unique genealogy and family history and stories experienced firsthand is a treasure that only older adults can offer. Help your loved one record his / her lifetime legacy in a scrapbook, writing, or video recording, and then share with relatives.

And, turn to Continuum, providers of quality respite care St. Louis families need when it comes to personalized in-home support that will help older adults find meaning and purpose, while continuing to be secure and comfortable within the familiarity of home. We can supply transportation to engaging and enjoyable activities, help plan and implement ideas to accomplish right at home, or help with some of the daily tasks in the house, including cleaning and cooking, allowing family members to experience high quality time together. You can reach us any time at (314) 863-9912.