What Research Says about Purpose and Late-Life Happiness

By 8  am on

Finding Purpose in Late-Life

Starting each day with a sense of purpose and a sunny disposition is a worthwhile goal at any age and is especially beneficial for seniors. While there is something to be said for finding a reason to live life to the fullest, recent research suggests that finding late-life happiness can do more than just give an older adult a reason to cherish each new day.

Increasing Life Expectancy

At Home Care Assistance of Columbus, OH, our approach to senior care, The Balanced Care Method, focuses on the importance of helping seniors find purpose in life.  Research suggests that having a well-defined purpose may do more than boost a senior’s psychological wellbeing and can actually translate into a longer lifespan. A study that involved senior adults found that those with a clear purpose of life, defined as being goal-oriented and finding meaning in life experiences, reduced the risk of a premature death (during the course of the study) by at least half.

Preventing Age-Related Conditions

A second study, which took place over the span of four years and included nearly 7,000 older adults, found that participants reporting a greater purpose in life had reduced instances of stroke, heart disease and related cardiovascular conditions. Seniors with a strong sense or purpose in life are also more likely to:

  • Get regular health screenings
  • Engage in regular exercise
  • Make an effort to maintain a healthy diet
  • Report possible health concerns earlier
  • Experience a better recovery from illness or surgery

Continuing with a Positive View on Life

Shifting from a life focused on career goals to one spent in retirement can also affect overall happiness and feelings of purpose. This suggests that enjoying greater late-life happiness should also include setting new goals and developing a new focus to compensate for changes in daily habits (i.e., no longer going to work everyday and consequently having more free time) or health-related limitations such as mobility issues.

If you have an aging parent or loved one who is having trouble transitioning from work life to retirement, consider companionship care from Home Care Assistance of Columbus. Available on an hourly or live-in basis, our trained caregivers can engage seniors through stimulating conversation and fun brain games, and can also assist with household chores and personal care tasks. Learn more about our custom care schedules, caregiver training, and 100% satisfaction guarantee by calling (614) 481-8888 and speak with one of our friendly Care Managers.


    Request Free Information or
    Schedule a Free in-Home Consultation