Thursday, December 20, 2012

Keeping Spirituality and Religion in a Senior Facility

By Bob Gregory

Most people who look for an Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home for themselves or an aging parent look for a senior facility that will meet their physical and mental needs, but what about their spiritual needs? Studies show that Senior facility residents who have their spiritual needs met have improved psychological and physical health.

Spirituality is the inner essence of a person that brings meaning, purpose, hope, well-being and coping mechanisms to their lives. It has been shown that spirituality helps people find purpose and meaning at the end of life and helps guide decisions at that time. Often, residents want to discuss their hopes and fears with their caregiver. These conversations help them achieve inner peace and acceptance. Spirituality is often, but not always, expressed in religious affiliation.

Many seniors mourn the loss of their community at church if they are unable to attend church services. The relationships in the church community are a vital part of spirituality. Often times, family members can transport their loved ones to church from the facility. When this is not an option, religious needs can be met in a Senior Facility.

What questions should I ask a Senior Facility about religion?

    Praying for our new elder
    Praying for our new elder (Photo credit: robinsan)
  • Do you have chaplains on staff?
  • Do you have pastors who come and lead regular worship services?
  • Do you provide religious music and encourage residents to sing hymns during services?
  • Do you have religious holiday celebrations?
  • Do you have special meals for religious holidays?
    Prayers (Photo credit: Xerones)
  • Do you decorate the facility for religious holidays?
  • Can you introduce me or my parent to other residents who share the same faith?
  • Are ministers allowed to visit, pray and offer sacraments to me or my parent?

There are also many Assisted Living Facilities and Nursing Homes that are church affiliated.  Some of Senior Facilities that are affiliated with churches or religious organizations are often subsidized to help members afford the facility.  Be sure to research carefully so you find just the right Senior Facility to meet the spiritual needs of you or your elderly parent.

If you find you need an Assisted Living Facility, Nursing Home or any other type of Senior Facility, I hope you will consider

If you would like to contribute your thoughts and ideas, please leave them in our comment section. We want to hear them. Helping people care for themselves or their loved ones is what we care about. 

We look forward to reading yours.

Bob Gregory is an advocate for Seniors and is one of the founders of At, we are dedicated to helping families get the Elder Care help they need without having to provide their personal information! If find you need an assisted living facility or other type of senior facility, please consider

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