Life does change when people move to an assisted living facility, and many seniors feel a lot of stress over these changes. The adult children of parents in transition need to help their loved ones by ensuring them they can stay involved with the things that have meaning for them. The role of religion can be an important consideration for some seniors.
Value Their Spirituality
Elder-health professionals understand that religion plays a role in the mental and physical well-being of many people. A spiritual belief can bring comfort during hardships, enable the elderly to have a sense of belonging, and give meaning to many lives. Studies show that nearly 90 percent of elderly patients cope with illness through the use of some form of religion.
Churches often become second homes to the elderly. The social opportunities in a church are something many older people do not have anywhere else. Spouses and friends pass away and adult children settle in other towns or states. The church gives them a place to go where they have companionship and comfort.
Discuss the Topic of Spirituality Honestly
Seniors may worry about their ability to attend church when a move is imminent. Discover what is available to them before the move begins. Discuss the options and reassure them that their spiritual needs matter as much as their health needs. It can help to calm a senior when they know their family recognizes and respects this aspect of their life.
Talk to Management
Religion-based assisted living facilities exist, but they are not available everywhere. Many people have spent their entire lives in diverse communities with people from all cultures and religions and choose to continue that lifestyle. However, a facility does not have to be connected with a specific religion to help residents worship.
Meet with the administration at the facility to learn what they offer before talking to seniors about their options. Every facility runs differently. Some have services onsite, some offer transportation to local churches, and others are happy to allow residents to organize their own prayer meetings or other spiritual events at the facility.
Visit Their Clergy
The leaders of a house of worship may happily visit and counsel the senior in their new nearby location. Invite the senior’s church friends to visit too. Many religious organizations have groups that travel to senior care facilities for this purpose.
You can also find out if any senior organizations in the area offer transportation to weekly worship services and special events. Some programs, particularly those offered by churches, have free transportation, and other groups offer this service for a small fee.
Invest Some Time
Americans aged 65 and older often attend church at a much higher rate than younger Americans. Elderly parents often attend weekly services while their children worship only on major holidays. Adult children that live nearby can make a commitment to give back to their parents by dedicating a few hours once a week to attend church with their parent.
Make a Purchase
Not every senior can move to a facility near where they want to worship. Some cannot travel to attend the services as they would like. The internet is the best option in these types of situations. Invest in a laptop, desktop, or tablet for any senior who does not already have online access.
Look for live streaming from their original church. If their original church does not offer live streaming, look for a church that does offer live streaming and that has a service similar to what they are used to.
Another helpful technology for this purpose is a scripture app. The apps can help to fill in for the scripture study groups they can no longer attend. Some apps allow people to study on their own and others enable group study.
Seniors can continue to live a full and satisfying life in an assisted living facility. The effort to meet their spiritual needs is just one of the ways families and staff can work together to make community members comfortable. At Haven Homes Assisted Living of Stow, we take all the needs of our residents seriously. Contact us to schedule a visit to learn more.