It is very common for seniors to spend their days in total isolation. At this stage in life they no longer have to work, their children are all grown and their circle of friends becomes smaller by the year. Feelings of loneliness and isolation can lead to serious issues with your senior’s health. Encouraging them to attend church is a great way to bring happiness and better health back into their lives. Here are a few reasons why going to church will help your senior improve emotionally and physically.
Failing to maintain social connections causes poor emotional health, high blood pressure, decreased physical health and a greater risk of death. It is absolutely necessary for seniors to develop a routine of being around others. Every week, churches provide the opportunity to gather together for the common interest of worship. Church is powered by uplifting messages, song and dance –all of which are definite mood enhancers. The chance to share a space with others who are like minded will reduce stress, encourage positive behavior and provide a sense of community.
Many older adults struggle with their identity because they lack belonging. The titles and roles once assumed are no longer a part of their routine, which strips them of their purpose. This void can be filled because church members are welcoming and warm, and they quickly grow to become an extended family. They often check on other members, cook them dinner, or lend a listening ear. This will help you senior foster deep, meaningful connections as well as the fulfillment of belonging.
Churches also have specific groups that plan events catering to older members of the congregation. Participating in structured activities will boost your senior’s mood tremendously. Group bowling, shopping and movie outings are awesome opportunities for your loved one to socialize and meet new friends!
Due to the changes that come with age, many seniors feel uncertain about what to expect next. It is important to develop a routine so they feel safe and less anxious. Attending service is a great way to bring routine into your senior’s life. All churches have a set schedule for worship services throughout the week. Chose a day(s) and time and try your best to stick with it. Eventually your loved one will begin to look forward to attending church weekly. This will also provide an awesome bonding experience as you create memories together!
A lot of seniors harbor feelings of resentment toward their bodies as they deteriorate. A decline in health is something that is out of their control, which can be very upsetting. The practice of faith teaches people to relinquish control to a higher power while trusting that everything is going to be okay. Any burden or dissatisfaction they feel is to be released through prayer in order to experience joy, hope and optimism. Practicing faith encourages healthy behavior, relieves stress, and improves emotional health. In order to reap the benefits of having faith, it must be practiced routinely. There is no better way for an older adult to enhance their faith than to regularly attend church, where it is practiced freely and openly.
Studies show that those who frequently attend church have lower mortality rates than those who attend infrequently. The social support and messages of faith help create a positive outlook on life while decreasing the behaviors that have an ill effect on health. The golden years can bring a set of challenges that seem insurmountable. That’s why it is so important to encourage new routines and behaviors. Getting your senior in the habit of attending church will enhance their quality of life by bringing happiness, encouragement, and lots of love!
Jason Lewis is a certified personal trainer who specializes in helping senior citizens stay fit and healthy. He is passionate about helping seniors stay healthy and injury-free. He created StrongWell to share his tips on senior fitness.