Posts Tagged ‘Seniors’

Attending Hope: How Church Can Help Seniors Revitalize Their Life

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

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For senior citizens living alone, life can sometimes feel isolated and detached.  Attending church can revitalize people by providing a net of social and spiritual support. Recent studies have suggested that churchgoers see plenty of health benefits, ranging from the physical to the emotional to the spiritual.

Health

As Today reported, attending church is good for your health. The benefits are not limited or exclusive to a particular faith, and include any place where people gather to worship. Attending these communal gatherings provides a feeling of companionship, compassion, and the idea that one is accessing something bigger than oneself. All of this helps reduce stress, which can affect people’s appetite, sleep habits, and overall mental health.

According to the New York Times, going to church weekly is good for you; religiosity boosts the immune system and decreases blood pressure. Declining physical health or decreased mobility can be a contributing factor to depression in senior citizens. Attending a church service helps seniors get out of their house and interact with the world. Getting to church, however, can often present a problem for senior citizens who lack transportation. There are plenty of options seniors can use to get around. Most churches or community centers are accessible through public transportation like bus routes and trains. Some churches even offer pick up services for seniors and people with disabilities.

Social Support

For senior citizens living alone or without family, going to church can provide a stable and comforting community and social interaction. When people get older, they might become separated from their usual activities due to medical issues, retirement, or inability to perform certain tasks. Church provides an immediate form of social support, which is important in fighting off the physical effects of loneliness. Places of worship tend to have closer communities of people that take an interest in each other’s lives and help support the needs of their members, while offering public support in the form of food pantries, winter clothing, or emergency preparation. Many churches also host activities dedicated to senior citizens. They offer spiritual outings or gatherings that encourage community building amongst the local senior population.

Spiritual support

Attending a church or a spiritual center is a holistic way to approach challenges and personal suffering. As stated in the Huffington Post, the church’s role is to fill a void in the community for people looking for a “spiritual fix.” For seniors in need of this spiritual guidance, the church can help heal past wounds, worries, and lingering regrets.  Whether they’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or financial instability, churches also offer guidance and counseling to help people through their trials and tribulations. Having a second family with which to share problems and questions about life can keep seniors from sliding into isolation and depression.

Part of a church's spiritual support lies in the comfort one receives from others, but also in the messages of love and hope most churches embrace. Services can provide meaning and answers to life’s toughest questions. A church is not about a building, but about the people that gather there and the common purpose of truth and inner peace. Becoming part of a church community restores optimism in the lives of those who need it most.

Senior citizens should not feel isolated from the world. The church has always provided a safe haven for people most in need. Attending services and becoming part of a community will help seniors revitalize their life, form new friendships, and stay healthy.

 

Author: Jason Lewis

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