We all need a sense of purpose in life in order to get through difficult days and achieve potential. Without a sense of purpose, one may constantly feel bored, dissatisfied, and empty, which can result in a slew of negative feelings and emotions.
While it isn’t uncommon for one to lose their sense of purpose in different stages of their lives, it becomes a concern when seniors in their old age start to find no purpose in living. Young people are able to quickly find a new purpose in life but seniors struggle the most with it, especially when their lives start to slow down.
For seniors, the lack of purpose has a direct impact on their psychological wellbeing, which is also closely related to their overall health. Studies have shown that those who feel a greater sense of purpose generally live longer, experience better sleep quality, and can even reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Helping the seniors we love to reconnect with their sense of purpose to lead a fulfilling life even in their old age is one way of telling them that you love them. Here’s what we can do.
1. Set up a routine
Boredom strikes when you have nothing to do and unstructured days can exacerbate the problem, making one feel worse about themselves. Setting up a routine for seniors, such as a time to sleep, wake up, or engage in different activities, can help ease their restlessness and help them stay productive.
You may want to include trips to a private nursing home with a senior daycare centre once or twice a week in this routine so that they can participate in a variety of engaging programs, socialise with friends, and even have professional caregivers attend to their needs. Instead of cooping them up at home, allowing them to head outside every once in a while will help boost their mood.
2. Stay creative
Art is an amazing form of activity that has been shown to help with all sorts of mental health issues. It produces dopamine, which makes people feel good, increases drive and even contributes to a sense of accomplishment.
Exposing seniors to a plethora of new creative activities, such as painting, scrapbooking, and even pottery fosters creativity and motivates them to pick up new skills. Especially for seniors who were too busy making a living in their earlier years, creative pursuits can be extremely rewarding and exciting for them.
If the lack of resources and time is an issue, you’ll be pleased to learn that many private nursing homes in Singapore provide elderly daycare services where seniors can engage in a range of exciting creative activities to stay occupied. The presence of professional caregivers at private nursing homes can even give you peace of mind while you’re busy with work.
3. Participate in fun activities with friends
Time spent alone is valuable, and engaging in activities alone is enjoyable, but being with a group of friends can make a significant difference in the psychological wellbeing of seniors. Many of our seniors’ favourite games, such as Mahjong, Chess, or a game of Go, also require more than one person to play. It may also be a good idea to expose your elderly family members to more friends at a senior daycare in Singapore so that they can spend more time socialising with people their own age rather than sitting at home alone.
4. Make them feel needed
Our elderly parents spent the majority of their adult lives caring for us and attending to all our needs. They may feel isolated and unwanted now that we are older and no longer require much of their assistance. This also contributes to their loss of purpose.
From helping you with babysitting to taking care of houseplants, there are plenty of simple activities that can help the elderly feel needed. They can even contribute to the community by volunteering at a charity. Even a simple act of asking them for their input on your life decisions can make them feel needed and boost their confidence.
5. Stay active
Exercise is important for overall health and breaking out of a sedentary lifestyle can help seniors improve strength, prevent diseases, improve cognitive function, boost their mood and fight off depression. Encourage your elderly family members to take part in aerobic exercises such as walking or low-intensity dancing for a minimum of 30 minutes each day, for five days a week. This extra effort to stay active will only be beneficial to their health. Staying active can also help them to discover a new interest in a sport, which can lead to a new purpose.
Helping your elderly family members find a new purpose in life in their old age is a great way to show them how much you care. Even bringing them to a senior daycare centre to have fun with their friends can help boost their self-confidence and add meaning to their otherwise mundane lifestyle.
Orange Valley is a private elderly nursing home in Singapore that provides seniors with interactive programmes and a safe space to interact with their friends. Contact us today to learn more about our care services.