Ikigai – a reason for being, the importance of having purpose in later life

Home care assistance from Bright Care

What is Ikigai? 

Ikigai (ee-key-guy) is an ancient Japanese life concept that helps you to find your ‘reason for being’ or what brings you joy. In Japanese ‘iki’ means alive or life and ‘gai’ means value or worth. So, what is your ‘life value’ or reason for being? To find this, ask yourself what inspires you to get up every day? 

The original concept behind this word was inspired from the Japanese philosophy that physical wellbeing is directly affected by your mental and emotional health. Therefore, having a defined sense of purpose in life can directly influence how healthy you are. 

The ancient Greek shared a similar belief to the Japanese. Eudaimonia was the belief that a life well lived led to the highest and most lasting form of happiness. When Tim and Louise Cocking established Bright Care in 2009, their vision was to deliver in-home care assistance that would help those in their later years find joy and purpose.

Ikigai is a motivating force; something or someone that gives a person a sense of purpose or a reason for living – the Oxford English Dictionary 

Why is it important to have purpose in later life

With the average age of women in Japan being 87 and for men 81, some of the longest-living people in the world, this suggests that finding purpose in later life contributes to longevity. Therefore, living a life full of joy and purpose should not only make you happier, but live longer too.

As we get older and retire from our careers, often our families are busy with lives of their own, and this can sometimes leave the older generation in need of finding a different way of living. Perhaps at a slower pace, but more importantly a fulfilling and meaningful way of spending time, on your own or with others. 

Finding a personal purpose that brings you joy can be something you do alone, such as gardening, adopting a pet, watercolour painting, or bird watching. But it can also be something you do as a group, with friends and family, or with your Bright Carer. Whether your ikigai benefits just yourself or the world at large is entirely up to you.

Finding your ikigai 

To help you find your own sense of purpose in later years, we have devised a few simple questions to ask yourself.

  • Mission – what brings me joy?
  • Passion – what do I find rewarding and challenging?
  • Fulfilment – what will make a real difference to my day-to-day life?
  • Talent – what am I naturally good at or would like to become better at?

How our home care assistance can help

With Bright Care home care assistance we can help you to find your ikigai and help you realise your goals. Whether it is delivering a cake to a friend, walking in nature, learning a new language, taking part in a hobby, or attending a club, whatever you are passionate about, our carers can assist you.

Get in touch

If you would like to know more about the home care assistance and companionship we offer, our team would be delighted to talk you through the options available, please get in touch.

If you would like to join our team providing private and bespoke in-home later life care, please get in touch.

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