In essence, church communities are a type of chosen family. When you share a faith experience with someone, week in and week out, you come to know them on a personal level. One of the ways church members are called to do their part is to care for older churchgoers. However, many faith communities may wonder how to best meet this call. Pastor Resources has gathered together these resources to help you figure out how to recognize and address the needs of your senior community with compassion and dignity.
Acts Retirement-Life Communities notes that socialization for seniors is important on a number of levels, including stress reduction, a longer lifespan, better fitness, and a reduced risk of depression. “Consistent socialization reduces the likelihood that seniors will experience depression caused by isolation and loneliness.”
- 3 Reasons Why Elderly Socialization Is Critical
- Activities for Seniors: Fun Things to Do
- 5 Tips and 1 Cardinal Rule: Event Planning for Diverse Seniors
- How to Get Seniors More Involved at Church
Assessing and addressing the spiritual needs of your seniors may seem like a no-brainer, but there’s good reason for it beyond keeping them grounded within the church family. Other benefits include boosting their overall wellbeing, and improving the quality for life for those with dementia. Turns out, according to International Psychogeriatrics, exercising one’s faith has been proven to slow cognitive decline and reduce or stabilize cognitive disorders. Spirituality in daily life allows dementia sufferers to maintain relationships, hold on to hope, and find larger meaning.
- Health Benefits of Going to Church for Seniors
- Why the Senior Ministry Is So Valuable to Your Church
- 4 Tips to Start a Prayer Chain
As important as spiritual needs, physical issues must be looked at as well. Are your seniors getting enough exercise, and are their regimens appropriate for age, fitness and body type? Diet is another area to consider, as is accessibility (both at home and at church).
- Consider Starting a Neighborhood Prayer Walk
- Pastor Resources Suggests Starting a Fit Club at Church
- Amazon Fresh — Prime Grocery Delivery Services
- Eight Simple Ways to Make Your Church More Accessible
- In-Home Services That Can Help Seniors Continue to Live Independently
Helping maintain a senior’s home can be as simple as volunteering to occasionally clean inside, keep up with the lawn and landscaping, cook, and help run errands. But other, larger-scale items should be on the agenda, such as these:
- Can They Sell Their Home to Finance a Downsize?
- 6 Steps for Preventing Falls Among Your Older Loved Ones
- Spruce Up Sofas and Chairs by Finding Furniture Reupholstery Near Me
Ultimately, the best thing you can be for an older churchgoer is a source of love and action. Focus on expanding the ways that you, both as an individual and as a church member, can show your seniors how much they matter.