Older Adults Need a Sense of Purpose

older adults sense of purpose

It may not be a well-known fact, but many older adults suffer from a substance use disorder. These addictions may be long-term issues that cause more problems in aging adults, or they may be new issues brought on by the realities of growing older. The good news is that there are ways to help older adults achieve and maintain sobriety. It all starts with giving them a sense of purpose. 

What Is a Sense of Purpose? 

When people are young, their lives are full of family, careers, and friends. They are active and busy. As people age, particularly after their kids have become established in their own lives and retirement removes the daily responsibilities of a person’s career, their activity level drops considerably, and people may wonder what purpose they serve any longer. 

Without this sense that they have responsibilities and people are counting on them, many older adults have trouble finding reasons to get up and stay active each day. This can lead to older adults suffering from depression due to feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, boredom, and isolation. 

Social Activities Provide Meaning for Older Adults

When considering older adult health, it is vitally important to take older adults’ mental health into account. Depression is regarded as one of the most significant risk factors for elderly people. Not only does it raise their chances of developing physical ailments, but it also opens the door to the development of an addiction as an older adult looks for ways to ease the emotional pain they are feeling. 

Perhaps the most effective way to maintain a sense of purpose and fight elderly addiction and depression is to keep older adults involved in social activities. These can be organized events like mini-golf tournaments or bake sales, or they can be a regular opportunity to get out of their homes and visit with other people through gardening or crafting bees. Keeping them in touch with their friends through weekly lunch dates or card games is also a good idea. 

For those older adults that can no longer easily leave their homes, the importance of regular social interaction is even greater. Teach them to use visual calling apps so they can see and hear their family and friends. Encourage them to have friends over to the house, play cards, watch a movie, or sit and visit. 

If You’re Worried About a Senior in Your Life, Seek Help 

Addictions in older adults can be more challenging to spot, especially if you do not get to interact with them very often. There is also a tendency of younger adults to be hesitant to confront their elders about personal issues. Anyone who thinks an elderly loved one may be suffering from an addiction should do what they can to keep that person living a purposeful life and find professionals to help them beat their addiction. 

Pine Grove offers addiction recovery programming for those 55 and older. Our staff understands that older adults’ needs and issues are different, so their treatment plans must be as well. Contact us today to learn more about how Pine Grove can help your loved one start healing. 

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