This Article is a guest post submitted to me by Jason Lewis at Strongwell.org. I pray that this post blesses you today.
Church can offer a wealth physical, spiritual and emotional benefits to seniors. As experts note, “Due to life circumstances that may be unique to their age or health concerns, elderly people often confront a variety of emotions or mindsets that may be somewhat debilitating and hard to bear. These include a sense of isolation, loneliness, boredom, and grief, as well as others.” Here are the ways attending church can help with these feelings.
Church Cuts Out Loneliness
Church is a very social activity which can be especially helpful for seniors who may feel cut off from society. Attending church gives seniors a positive community to be a part of, and gives them a regular, healthy connection to others. Feelings of isolation and loneliness can be dangerous for older adults, and a lack of social connection may lead to loss of sleep, depression and anxiety. When left unchecked, these feelings can cause seniors to turn to alcohol or drugs to cope, resulting in a dangerous addiction. By connecting with others at church, the elderly can absolve themselves of these negative feelings and find stability in the process. They can find new friends and new people to help them out when times get rough.
Attending Church is a Much Needed Activity
As people age, they give up much of the hustle of their younger lives. They may leave careers and may not be able to continue some of the hobbies that kept them so busy. A lack of routine or mobility can leave seniors bored, but attending church is a wonderful, and low-key, way to get out of the house. Seniors can have a practical, positive reason for getting up and getting moving. Church services are offered pretty regularly too, with socials and activities during the week, so getting involved with a church is a great way for seniors to get active again and reduce the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
Prayer Can Be a Form of Meditation
Studies have shown that mindfulness and meditation can have a positive impact on the well-being of those who practice, and seniors are not immune to these effects. You may not think it, but the act of prayer is very similar to meditation. It’s a quiet, peaceful time for inward reflection and a chance to ponder your connection to the greater universe. Turning within can help seniors live in the moment and remain thankful for the life they have. This kind of mindful meditation is also helpful in reducing stress and may lower blood pressure, both of which can help strengthen the health of the elderly.
Church Can Provide Renewed Purpose
Connecting with others, getting out of the house, and quiet contemplation are all such powerful reasons for seniors to attend church. When these elements combine, seniors may find the most compelling reason of all to join a church: a revived sense of purpose in their lives. Church helps attendees find a higher connection to the universe and helps them see their place within it. Seniors may also find themselves in the position to impart wisdom upon younger generations or participate in community service projects, which adds meaning to their life. Religious teachings and activities can have a major impact at such an important time in the lives of older adults.
Although important in their own right, religion and spiritual redemption are not the sole benefits of regularly attending church services. Church has the power to create the loving connections, regular routines, peaceful reflections and sense of purpose that can be so empowering to elderly adults. With church, seniors can find a connection to God, to the world, and most importantly, to themselves again.
Title Photo source: Pixabay