A growing trend amongst us boomers is that we have been steering clear from the word “retirement.” Personally, watching the decline in my parent’s when they “retired” is why I’ve been planning on working, in some form, as long as I’m able to contribute.
Purpose is, on many counts, a good thing to have, long associated with satisfaction and happiness, better physical functioning, even better sleep. “It’s a very robust predictor of health and wellness in old age,” said Patricia Boyle, a neuropsychologist at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago.
This protective effect holds through the years, according to a recent study by Dr. Hill, which relied on a national longitudinal study that enrolled 7,100 Americans aged 20 to 75. Those who died, in all age groups, scored significantly lower on purpose-in-life scales.
So not only is my wish to have meaning and purpose in my life and contribute back to my community, but that need is also a factor to help keep me healthy.
While my journey as a caregiver has been long and impacted my life, it’s also fueled in me what I believe to be my purpose in life. Driven.
The snake oil salesman live on … whether it’s “hope in a jar” with a age-defying face cream, fish oil, or a “brain training” … the advertising claims appeal to our desire to live well. Let the buyer beware. Warned.
I’m obsessed with ensuring that I continue to exercise, contribute to my community in meaningful ways and stay engaged socially. Many studies report that these are the three most important elements to aging well. The tough part is making sure that I have the wealth and health to afford these luxuries.