A long life of purpose
November 29, 2017
Our team works hard to provide a sense of community at the Residences at Chestnut Ridge. We believe that community provides a sustained sense of purpose and better quality of life.
After all, feeling purposeful in life is important. “It’s a very robust predictor of health and wellness in old age,” Patricia Boyle, a neuropsychologist at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago, told the New York Times. Through a study on the relationship of a purposeful life and Alzheimer’s, Dr. Boyle and her team found that people with high purpose scores were 2.4 times more likely to remain free of Alzheimer’s than those with low scores.
An senior living community can be an excellent option for aging parents. With the help of our resources and expertise, here are four ways to help an elderly parent continue to live a purpose-filled life.
1. Encourage new friendships.
Aging can be discouraging because of the loss of close friends and family. Encourage your loved one to seek out friends who enjoy similar hobbies. The Residences at Chestnut Ridge provide many social activities, including art and cooking classes, card and board games, worship services, outings for dining, movie nights and a daily social called “Chat and Chew.”
2. Embrace their talents.
Be mindful of what your loved one has always done to maintain an active and meaningful life. Whether it’s music or exercise, hobbies are more important than ever, even if they require some adaptation. In the process, you will discover new layers to your family.
In her part-memoir/part cookbook, All Gone, Alex Witchel writes how cooking family recipes provided vital relief as she became increasingly responsible for her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
New adventures don’t have to be impossible. Traveling with an elderly parent will present unique challenges, but it is possible – and even enjoyable. It just takes research and patience. You probably won’t be able to climb Everest, but there are plenty of senior-friendly destinations. This may be the time to recreate a favorite childhood vacation, with you in the driver’s seat. Check out Val Grubb’s blog, Travel with Aging Parents, for helpful tips and ideas.
4. Celebrate holidays.
A private dining room is available at the Residences at Chestnut Ridge for special family gatherings. Though it may not be possible for your loved one to celebrate every aspect of your traditions, it can still be a season of cheer. Adapt family gatherings to smaller, spread-out visits rather than one overwhelming crowd. Involve them in special events and try to spark memories – whether it’s wrapping gifts or playing board games in the game room. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has put together a list of helpful tips for caregivers in the holiday season.
Whatever stage of the journey you are in, we’re here to help. Connecting with a community that provides assistance with daily living can make all the difference! Our unique approach allows each resident to have a meaningful life.
Contact us for more information and a personal tour.