What Is Purposeful Aging?

Senior and Friend Sitting

The Benefits of Aging With a Purpose

How Seniors Can Enhance Their Physical and Mental Health

The experience of aging is being reimagined by today’s seniors. Older adults are demanding more purpose in their lives—and that search for meaning does not end with retirement or at age 65. Research also indicates that purposeful aging is essential to seniors’ physical and mental well-being.

By the year 2050, the world population of those individuals ages 60 and older will total approximately 2 billion. In the United States alone, our 65-plus population will double from 43.1 million to 83.7 million. These statistics, cited from the World Health Organization and the United States Census Bureau, opened the 2016 report by the Milken Institute titled “The Powerful Purpose of Aging.” The report notes that “A growing body of research suggests that aging with purpose offers solutions not just to problems inherent with aging itself, but to an array of other challenges that demand attention.”


Purposeful aging is many things, but in general, it is:

  • Shifting the narrative to embrace older people as an asset, not a burden
  • Enhancing seniors’ physical and mental well-being
  • Fulfilling seniors’ intrinsic desire to give back to their community
  • Connecting seniors as mentors and volunteers with young people
  • Combating ageism and subsequent negative stereotypes about aging

The benefits of aging with a purpose have a real impact on our communities, but they also greatly enhance the lives of seniors. A study by Yale researcher Becca Levy found that older adults who had a positive self-perception of aging lived an average of 7.5 years longer than those who were less positive. Purpose has also been found to decrease the likelihood of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, a common fear among seniors.

At McGregor, we strive to give our seniors many opportunities to live their life with meaning and purpose. Our senior living options are designed to support their desired lifestyle and allow them to pursue their passions throughout their golden years. We invite you and your family to learn more about our senior care services.


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