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Meeting Spiritual Needs in Retirement Living: The Faith-Based Difference

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For many people, spirituality is a large part of their daily lives. But spiritual wellness encompasses more than religion; it also includes seeking meaning and purpose through meditation and prayer, as well as an appreciation of beauty, nature, and life.

As we get older, our beliefs can become even more important to us. And with more time available, retirement can be an ideal time to reflect and reconnect with the spiritual side of life.

How is spirituality linked to health?

A growing body of research finds a connection between spirituality and physical, mental, and emotional health. Spirituality has been linked to positive health outcomes, including:

  • Greater resiliency
  • Better coping skills
  • Enhanced recovery from illness
  • Less stress and hypertension
  • Reduced anxiety and depression
  • Delayed cognitive decline
  • Reduced risk of mortality

While the exact reason for the connection between spirituality and better health outcomes is still unknown, researchers suggest that the calming acts of praying or meditating are ways to relieve stress naturally, which may help to prevent a variety of health problems. Likewise, many spiritual and religious traditions incorporate participation in the community and fellowship with others. Volunteering or attending worship services provides social support and may contribute to improved mood and reduced loneliness. Studies have also shown that staying mentally and socially active and having strong relationships can help to protect memory and cognitive health as we age.

Seniors and spirituality

Whether or not they practiced a specific religion in their younger years, many older adults find that the aging process itself sparks a desire to embrace spiritual growth. According to a Pew Research survey, 68% of seniors pray daily and 58% attend weekly worship services. In the same survey, 69% of seniors said that religion is “very important” to them. With advancing age, we tend to seek a sense of purpose and identity outside of our families, careers, and achievements. Engaging in spiritual experiences and traditions can bring more meaning and fulfillment to day-to-day life, especially as we grow older.

How faith-based retirement communities support spiritual wellbeing

Today’s faith-based retirement communities recognize the importance of spirituality for older adults and provide daily opportunities for residents to engage in the spiritual experiences that resonate with them, regardless of their personal religion or faith affiliation. For example, some residents find spiritual fulfillment through arts and crafts activities, music, or spending time in nature. Others may enjoy spiritual connection and fellowship when volunteering or attending worship services or prayer groups with like-minded believers in the comfort of their community.

Furthermore, faith-based retirement communities are usually operated by non-profit organizations rather than for-profit commercial chains. When it comes to finding a community to spend their retirement years, many older adults prefer living in a retirement community that’s guided by a clearly defined mission and aligns with their own values and beliefs.

If you’re looking for a caring faith-based retirement community for yourself or a senior loved one, we invite you to visit Bethany Village. We believe in the philosophy of Faithful Caring, which means we look after all aspects of our residents’ lives, including their physical, social, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. Our residents have opportunities to participate in spiritual activities, including on-site worship services, volunteering, Bible studies, prayer meetings, and discussion groups. To learn more and schedule a tour of our beautiful, welcoming campus, please contact us today.

Written by Bethany Village

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