When it comes time to find the right senior community for you, weeding through all the different options can be tough.
Evaluating the level of care needed, weighing the pros and cons of included amenities, getting a true feel for daily life—it takes time and plenty of effort.
For many seniors today, faith is factoring into their search as well. Indeed, more than 90% of older Americans believe in a higher power. And joining a faith-based senior community that celebrates the power of belief is quickly becoming one of the most important for retirement living.
But what is a faith-based senior community? What are the benefits they offer? Are they limited to certain religious beliefs? This guide will answer all those questions and more.
What Are Faith-Based Senior Communities?
Most senior living communities tend to have two core needs of residents: physical and emotional health.
A faith-based senior community does the same but also includes the need for spiritual health. These campuses help residents embrace their beliefs by offering religious services, events, and guidance.
While each community will vary, a faith-based senior community may be built on core beliefs from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, or any other religion. Many also welcome residents of any faith with open arms.
Some unique qualities you might see in a faith-based senior community include:
- An on-campus chapel
- Weekly worship services
- Spiritual offerings like the Holy Communion
- Prayer groups
- Religious text study groups
- On-campus ministers
- Holistic health consultations
What Are the Benefits of Faith-Based Communities?
We all have spiritual needs. As we age, fulfilling those needs becomes more important than ever. Plus, health challenges, transitions in your day-to-day activities, memory loss, and more can all test the resilience of your spirit.
But when you live in a faith-based senior community, you can rest assured you’ll have everything you need to fill your spiritual cup to the brim.
Below are four of the biggest benefits you’ll enjoy when living in a faith-based senior community.
Founded on Faith-Based Principles
When you choose to live in a faith-based senior community, you can rest easy knowing each and every decision is made in accordance with core religious principles. Principles like compassion, stewardship, loving one’s neighbor, and integrity.
For example, Cape Albeon’s faith-based senior community is guided by C.H.R.I.S.T:
- Compassion: Kindness, empathy, and sensitivity rule the day.
High Quality: Seeking improvement and innovation leading to enhancement in areas large and small.
- Respect: No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.
- Integrity: Honest, ethical behavior by all for all.
- Stewardship: Planning for the future, prudent use of resources, recognizing accountability and accepting guardianship; rejoicing in service.
- Teamwork: Supporting each other in furtherance of the Mission.
Plenty of Activities to Get Involved In
A faith-based senior community will also have lots of different activities and events for residents. From regular bible study and weekly services to holiday celebrations and religious lessons.
You may also find certain communities offering:
- Choir groups
- World religion classes
- Group discussions
- Scripture readings
- Bible theatre
In addition to the spiritual activities, many communities will also offer plenty of other ways to stay engaged. You can expect to see regular exercise classes, happy hours, cultural events, trips into town, movie nights, and more.
For many residents, a faith-based retirement community is less like a senior living community and more like a resort because of all the things to do.
Support When You Need It Most
Transitioning into a senior living community can be tough. Relocating to a new home, moving away from friends and family, starting a new life chapter—it can all bring up uncomfortable emotions for some. Added to that, problems with health and grief tend to arise in our later years too.
Many seniors tend to turn to spirituality in trying times like these. They find their faith gives them the hope, resilience, and compassion they need to overcome trying times.
Faith-based senior communities can make these transitional periods substantially easier. They offer a familiar, faith-deepening environment that can make getting through tough times much easier.
These communities are also usually welcoming and open to people of other faiths or people who do not have faith. As such, it also offers a great opportunity to find new support channels.
Connection to a Loving Community
A strong sense of community is important to everyone. But in our older years especially, maintaining social contact with others is absolutely essential.
According to the CDC, social isolation can actually be dangerous. They found the following:
- Social isolation significantly increases a person’s risk of premature death from all causes, a risk that may rival those of smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity.
- Social isolation was associated with about a 50% percent increased risk of dementia.
- Poor social relationships (characterized by social isolation or loneliness) were associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke.
- Loneliness was associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide.
- Loneliness among heart failure patients was associated with a nearly 4 times increased risk of death, 68% increased risk of hospitalization, and 57% increased risk of emergency department visits.
When you live in a faith-based senior community, you’re surrounded by neighbors and staff that hold those same values close to your heart. Compassion, joy, empathy, love of thy neighbor—these values can help residents form stronger, more nourishing relationships with one another.
Are These Faith-Based Communities Limited to Certain Religious Beliefs?
Just because you are not of the same founding religion as a faith-based senior community in no way means you are barred from entering. In fact, many such communities welcome individuals of all creeds from joining the community.
In that same vein, you do not have to be of any faith or spirituality to join a faith-based senior community. And you do not have to participate in any faith-based events. But the core of such communities is acceptance and love. And those are values that anyone would find welcoming.
However, if you are of a certain religion, you may want to ensure the community you decide on does offer services specific to your beliefs.
Where Is the Best Faith-Based Retirement Community in St. Louis, MO?
The conversation about senior living with your adult children may be tough. Be when you keep an open mind, express your true wishes clearly, and always come from a place of love, your children will be far more receptive to your decision.
The next step is finding the right senior living community for you. And if you’re searching in the greater St. Louis area, The Harbor at Cape Albeon is a perfect choice.
The Harbor independent living community for seniors provides the perfect mix of independence, community, and support during your golden years.
With picturesque views, graceful dining, helpful services, superior medical support, and plenty of daily community activities, you’ll always feel engaged and wonder what each new day will bring.
We also offer:
- Delicious daily meals
- Bi-monthly housekeeping
- A 24-hour emergency response system
- Indoor pool and whirlpool
- Chapel for worship services
- And much more
Want to get a closer look at what life is like at Cape Albeon’s The Harbor? Just click below to schedule your tour today!
For the very best in an independent senior living community in and around St. Louis, look to The Harbor by Cape Albeon.