Faith is an abstract idea that means different things to different people. For many it is a sustaining force that helps them cope with the trials of life. For the elderly, having a strong sense of faith can help in adjustment to many types of life challenges, and being dependent and having to be in a nursing home facility is a major life adjustment. Whatever the older person’s religious belief might be, having a sense of belief in a higher power allows the person to find a sense of peace. Plus, many older people are philosophical about their pending death and a belief in a better world or life to come can be comforting.
A Answers (3)
Faith within the religious realm can assist seniors accept the difficult role of change that occurs when faced with the factor that they may require assisted living, skilled nursing facilities and the like. Some churches do offer faith based nurses/health programs that can assist the elderly through this realm of their life. A particular program in Philadelphia has a strong faith based health handle on their parishioners and usually follows them to the facility when they are unable to attend services.
Anthony Cirillo, Gerontology, answeredFor some elderly acceptance of a nursing facility is easy, acceptance not only of new surroundings but of the fact that they are in the final chapters of their life and that their time on earth is coming to an end. Strong faith carries them through. "It is amazing how for some, the older they get, the more at peace they become with letting go," said Sherri Tucker-Neff, a former assisted living activity director. "My grandmother had been saying since she was 80 that she was ready to go. You just hate to hear people talk about it. You try to talk them out of it. But finally, I think probably because of where I work, I could talk to her about it and say, 'I understand. I know exactly where you are coming from. I don't blame you. But you know what? It is not your choice right now and obviously God has other plans for you.' I guess the older you get, the more faith you have in God and that He is going to take care of things."
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