Most people look forward to retirement, assuming it will feel like a long vacation. Many retirees are surprised to learn the fun doesn't last forever. Eventually, they become bored and feel like their life lacks meaning. That's because, to live your happiest life after retirement, you need purpose.
Researchers have been trying to understand the importance of a sense of purpose for years. In addition to helping seniors adapt to their lifestyle post-retirement, they have discovered additional benefits that come with living purposefully.
4 Reasons to Find a Sense of Purpose after Retirement
1. Lengthens life span
For years, research has shown a positive relationship between having a sense of purpose and a person's longevity. Some studies have even controlled factors like age, emotional well-being, and gender. The results still suggested those who lived purposefully lived longer than those who felt aimless. Regardless of how old they were, a greater sense of purpose helped them live longer.
2. Supports brain health
In 2012, a study was conducted to learn more about how purpose protects the brain. At this time, research already associated a sense of purpose with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment, disability, and death.
In addition to further supporting the relationship between purpose and a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, the study found a greater sense of purpose created a neural reserve. A neural reserve increases the amount of damage the brain can endure. This reduces the effects of Alzheimer's disease.
3. Improves sleep health
Sleep disturbances are associated with higher rates of health issues, including cognitive impairment and mortality. Unfortunately, many adults experience more sleep disturbances as they age. One study identified a relationship between purpose and sleep quality. Those with a sense of purpose slept better than those who felt aimless.
4. Benefits physical health
In 2010, a research study was conducted at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to identify if a sense of purpose affected the physical health of adults over fifty. Their results showed those with purpose had a reduced risk of developing a weaker grip or slow walk compared to those with a lower sense of purpose. In some cases, purpose even led to a faster walking speed.
Finding a Sense of Purpose
It can be challenging to find a sense of purpose, mostly because it's different for everyone. For some people, it’s their reason to live, and for others, it’s what makes them happiest. Regardless of how you identify the meaning of your life, it is the secret to living your best life after retirement.
Randall Residence Encourages Seniors to Live Purposefully
At Randall Residence, we encourage our residents to identify and nurture a sense of purpose. We offer various life enrichment activities, including exercise groups, art classes, and language courses. Each is designed to keep seniors engaged throughout retirement. Contact us today to learn more about how we support seniors.