It’s highly important for the spiritual needs of older adults in long-term care to be met, especially during periods of loss and adjustment. Although not everyone may belong to a religious affiliation, spirituality and religion are not necessarily synonymous, with about 5% of older adults identifying as “just spiritual”.
As the older generation grew up in a world where religion played a stronger part in daily life, many of them turn to their faith during tough times. For this purpose, it’s necessary to continue providing spiritual programs in senior living, and it comes with many benefits for residents as well. We share more with you in this article!
Spiritual Practices Can Bring About Psychological Benefits
Activities such as praying and gathering with others that share the same outlook can bring about psychological benefits for older adults. This includes:
- A more optimistic outlook on life, especially when faced with difficult situations
- An enhanced ability to cope with transitions and losses, such as death
- Provide a sense of purpose and contentment in later life
As much as our golden years should be a time to sit back and live our best lives, it is also a period marked by transitions. From moving into a retirement community to coping with the loss of loved ones, spiritual programs can be immensely helpful to residents during this time.
Understanding the Spiritual Needs of Seniors
Religion and spirituality can bring great comfort to anyone of any age during the most trying of times. We should never underestimate the comfort that engaging in spiritual activities can bring to older adults, regardless of their individual convictions and beliefs.
Below is a list of spiritual needs of the elderly consolidated by Nancy C. Kehoe, a professor at Harvard Medical School and a practicing psychologist:
- A Need for Continuity: With so many changes in the air, having continuity in their faith can help to ground older adults and get them through these changes.
- A Need for Hope, Purpose, and Meaning: As older adults enter this new phase of life, the search for meaning can become more profound than before.
- A Need to Be Thankful: Looking back on everything they have achieved in their lives and what is still to come, older adults can express their gratitude for what life has given them through spiritual programs.
- A Need for Forgiveness: Our golden years are a time to let go of the grievances we have been holding on to for the sake of inner peace.
- … and more!
You Can Find the Spiritual Programs You Need at SummerHouse Bay Cove
At SummerHouse Bay Cove, we only want the best for our residents. To this end, a holistic health & wellness program is in place to take care of our residents’ needs, from spiritual wellness to physical activity. Residents can attend spiritual gatherings and worship services onsite, allowing them to explore their faith and connect with others who share the same outlook. Schedule a tour of our campus today and find out why you should make the move!