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The personal and social benefits of purpose beyond the self in later life

Publication Authors: 
Jim Emerman, Anne Colby, & Helen Dennis
Publication Year: 

Anne Colby, principal investigator for the Pathways to Encore Purpose research project at California’s Stanford University, and Jim Emerman, executive vice president of in San Francisco, will present research on purpose beyond the self in older adults and offer information about innovative programming that supports this key feature of positive aging. They will discuss the meaning, importance, and prevalence of purpose within aging populations, and how purpose beyond the self manifests in older adults. They will also discuss how practitioners and organizations can help individuals—even those facing serious health and financial challenges—to develop purposeful engagements that help maintain a sense of well-being and positive contribution. Author and lecturer Helen Dennis, an expert on retirement and aging, will discuss implications of the Encore research that can have a positive and realistic influence on society’s view of aging.

Participants in this web seminar will be able to:

- Articulate what “purpose beyond the self” refers to and how it differs from an individual’s sense of personal meaning;
- Discuss barriers to and facilitators of purpose beyond the self;
- Describe at least three types of resources available to older adults and two resources available to organizations that work with older adults to help this population to achieve their purpose goals; and,
- Connect the concepts of older adults’ purpose and social contributions to their own work.