Choosing appropriate life goals and choosing activities important to me

Unit 13


One of the most hardened stereotypes about the elderly, especially about the elderly with intellectual disabilities, is that with the age they become in a state of total dependence on the care of their family and loved ones. However, what we observe in the age group 60+ completely opposes this stereotype. Modern elderly people are truly active – they continue to work even after reaching the retirement age, participate in various interest clubs and amateur formations, participate in volunteer activities, and in many cases, they support the families of their children, for example by providing full-time care for their grandchildren.

However, the fact that aging is a really challenging period for every person is indisputable – on the one hand, it confronts us with degenerative changes in our body and intelligence, on the other hand, it is a borderline period that requires us to rethink our goals and plans and even to start building brand new ones. And sometimes the changes we have to make in light of all this can be really scary or demotivating. They can cause the elderly person to fall into a position of total self-isolation or to start leading an extremely passive lifestyle. This is especially true for aging adults with intellectual disabilities, who need additional and systematic support to maintain their independence in the aging period. That is why, in our understanding, the targeted support to AAWID for achieving increased level of independence is one of the key factors for improving their quality of life. They should be provided with options and the right to take informed decisions for their life and way of living, as well as to receive respect for their decisions, personal preferences and opinions.

In order to help AAWID to overcome the difficulties in this transit period, we have developed a set of exercises in which we consider the concept of “life goal” and the need every person to update his aims and goals at every stage of his life, as we believe that it could be used as one useful strategy for returning the happiness and optimism in aging people’s life. Within this exercises, we concern specifically the retirement period which could be truly hard for those people who had an active and satisfying professional life, as our aim is by them to demonstrate to AAWID how this period could become a time for new dreams and opportunities.

We do realise that for some people (not only AAWID) the “life goal” concept could sound too abstractive or even meaningless, however, we believe that by providing AAWIDs with detailed information and opportunities to reflect on this topic we support their right of dignifying and sufficient aging life.   

  • Depending on the person and his level of understanding, the educator might have to alter the exercise and the tasks;
  • Each instruction provided in this exercise should only be considered as a suggestion - the educator should consider how to explain the exercise and its objectives to AAWID so that they become as clear as possible to the person.
  • Depending on the person’s current framework/background of knowledge he may need more time to understand the concepts and do the tasks. In such a case the educator may split the exercise into more sessions, conducted at different times or days.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge Skills
  1. Basic knowledge about the concept of “life goal”;
  2. Knowledge about the characteristics of a goal;
  3. Knowledge about the process of “life goal” setting up;
  4. Knowledge about the process of “life goal” achieving;
  1. To be able to distinguish goal and a dream;
  2. To be able to reflect on the “life goal” concept;
  3. To demonstrate self-reflection and self-assessment skills;
  4. To be able to set up a goal;
  5. To demonstrate ability to make independent decisions in the context of life goal concept;
  6. To be able to create an initial plan for goal’s achievement.

Other units

Unit 11

Learning about your rights

Unit 12

Who are the persons important to me

Unit 14

Choosing end of life care and palliative care