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The Benefits of Church for Senior Citizens
Once they are free from work obligations and raising a family, it’s not unusual for many senior citizens to feel lost, depressed, and without a sense of direction in life. This can worsen over time as they lose peers or begin to feel more isolated from friends and family. However, recommitting to church attendance not only offers a welcoming community, but a purpose and reason to get out of bed in the morning. It can also result in numerous physical and mental health benefits.
For seniors, the congregation of a church can act as a support system in times of need. Members are likely to check in on those that are not in attendance, and foster deep relationships with one another. Boxcast points out that, “With age, many people drift from friends due to retirement, medical problems, or a reduced ability to perform the hobbies and activities they once enjoyed.”
The benefits of a connection with God are plentiful. While everyone’s spiritual journey is different, prayer can equate to a healthy outlet for one’s emotions and reduce stress, fears, and other worrisome thoughts. A relationship with God can bring a senior a sense of inner peace, forgiveness and hope for the future in a way that little else can. God can help them cope with recent losses and come to a place of reflection and understanding.
With all the activities available for one to partake in, church allows for a more active lifestyle. Just getting out of the house and into a routine of attendance, whether it’s for bible study, regular worship, potlucks, or volunteering, usually results in multiple gatherings a week. By extension, a senior can take the position of a leadership role within the congregation and be more involved within his or her community through charity work. Helping others and having a positive cause to rally behind can make all the difference in their quality of life.
Church also brings an opportunity for physical fitness since many churches offer senior recreational programs, oftentimes with a connection to a Silver Sneakers program. This Medicare-funded program provides a variety of fitness activities for every ability, in addition to group classes that promote community. Not only will physical activity help keep seniors live healthier lifestyles, but exercise can also have a positive impact on mood and weight management. In fact, even something as simple as taking the stairs can make a difference or going for a walk with friends have make a difference in their lives.
By being included in something important and meaningful like church, an elder will likely feel less lonely. The hymns and sermons can offer guidance and a sense of belonging that they were missing before. In addition to a stronger spiritual connection, time around others will do a wonder of good for any older adult.
Founded in 2009, Clandestant Ministries is a non-profit interfaith religious organization that strives to help community members reach their goals and fulfill their potential. You can learn more about how to donate or volunteer your time by exploring our site.