From Depression To Determination: How Christian Assisted Living Helps Seniors Finish Well
As you realize your loved family member is reaching the stage in which help is needed for daily living, you are understandably concerned. Stories abound of seniors who lose their will to live once they have to leave their homes and enter assisted living. For many elderly people, the loss of independence represented by no longer being in their home leads to depression and discouragement. However, by choosing an assisted living home that emphasizes the spiritual fortitude of a life well lived, you can help your loved one finish his/her life race well.
Depression in the elderly
Approximately seven million Americans over 65 suffer from depression. The rate of depression is fairly low among seniors who live independently, but rises among those who need to move to nursing homes. Indeed, as many as 52% of elderly people in nursing homes are depressed. While seniors in assisted living do not require as much care as those in nursing homes, the fact remains that as independence declines, depression increases.
Even believers get depressed
Your beloved family member may have lived a great life of strong faith, inspiring others who have gone through hard times. It may be particularly difficult to hear statements now indicating hopelessness or despair, yet depression isn't foreign to believers. Consider David, whose psalms are full of honest struggle with gloom, oppression, and fear.
Determination integral in later years
One of the ways seniors avoid developing depression is by retaining a strong sense of life purpose. If your loved one is widowed or has a serious medical condition, it may be more difficult to encourage him/her to have a positive outlook on these later years. Here are some ways Christian assisted living can help refresh determination.
- Spiritual renewal. Encourage your loved one to consider a Christian assisted living placement like United Methodist Village, where regular Bible study, worship services, and pastoral counseling are available.
- Spiritual friendships. A Christian assisted living community will provide many opportunities for your family member to share struggles, questions, and doubts with other seniors who are going through the same experiences.
- Spiritual opportunities. Help your loved one network with the pastoral staff to find opportunities to serve others who need his/her skills and abilities. Knowing that his/her life experiences can contribute to others' lives is vital for a new sense of determination.
Helping your loved one find the determination to live strongly in their twilight years helps him/her to finish the life race well. This way, he/she can say along with Paul, that giant of the faith, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." Now that's a life determined with purpose!