5 Advantages of Faith-Based Retirement Communities

Senior woman enjoying the outdoorsFinding the right retirement community is one of the most important decisions many seniors face as they age. There are so many factors to consider that the choice can feel overwhelming. But beyond location, levels of care, and amenities, many seniors and their families are also adding faith to their list of criteria for finding the best place to spend their retirement.

As a result, the number of faith-based, continuing care communities has grown in recent years and that number is expected to increase in the next few years as more and more Baby Boomers retire. According to Chicago-based investment bank, Ziegler, 80 percent of continuing care retirement communities are owned and operated by non-profit organizations. Of those organizations, about 75% are run by faith-based organizations that include Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian religions.

Is a faith-based retirement community a better choice for your needs?

Here are five reasons to consider a faith-based community for your retirement.

1 – Shared Values

While many retirement communities embrace the beliefs of their residents by providing church services and observing religious holidays, faith-based communities place faith at the core of what they do each and every day. Faith is present in every decision, large and small, from their mission statements to their plans for daily activities, to the way they connect and interact with residents and each other. Sharing values such as joy, compassion, stewardship, connection, and community have become a way of life that these communities are eager to share with others. It’s not uncommon for residents to experience deeper, more nourishing relationships with staff and fellow residents in faith-based communities.

2 – Solace and Support in a Time of Transition and Uncertainty

The decision to move to a retirement community is one of life’s biggest transitions and one that is likely to bring up many difficult emotions such as sadness, fear and uncertainty. Many seniors turn to their faith for solace and support during times like these. Faith-based communities offer many opportunities to strengthen and deepen that faith, while providing a sense of comfort and familiarity during difficult transitions.

But, faith-based communities can also be a great option for those who are just discovering their faith and even many who haven’t embraced spirituality up to this point. The accepting and uplifting environment of faith-based communities can provide hope and create meaningful connections to others.

3 – Opportunities to Get Involved

seniors singingFaith-based communities offer many opportunities for active participation for residents through worship services, prayer groups, holiday celebrations and more. In many communities, residents are encouraged to participate through preaching, teaching, facilitating group discussions, engaging others in Bible studies, directing or singing in a choir or other performance, playing musical instruments, working with audio / video equipment, escorting residents to activities and more. Continuing to feel a sense of purpose by using their spiritual gifts can help seniors feel more vibrant and healthy in all aspects of their lives and fulfill spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and even physical needs.

4 – A Sense of Community and Belonging

seniors socializingOne of the hardest things seniors face when leaving their homes is a sense of disconnection with familiar surroundings and those they love. Faith-based communities can help fill this gap, providing meaningful connection with others who share their faith and honor the traditions that go with it. This fosters a sense of real connection and belonging that is vital to overall health, a sense of well-being and fulfillment. That sense of belonging can be the difference between feeling lost and alone, or feeling like part of a vibrant community where everyone is looking out for everyone else.

5- All-Inclusive Atmosphere

While faith-based retirement communities are often affiliated with Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian or Jewish religions, you won’t necessarily need to share a particular faith to join the community. In fact, many faith-based communities welcome differing points of view that help residents and staff learn from one another and share their experiences. Even those who don’t believe in God are welcomed to most faith-based communities without pressure to change their point of view. Faith is viewed not as a set a rules to abide by, but a way of life that includes compassion for others, connection with their community and a way to aspire to something greater than themselves.

While there are many factors that may lead you to choose one retirement community over another, faith can be a powerful motivator. The opportunity to spend your days with people who share your values, appreciate and encourage your gifts and provide hope and solace in difficult times can lead to a very satisfying and fulfilling retirement.

If you’re considering faith-based retirement communities in the Lancaster, PA area, for you or someone you love, we invite you to take a tour of Calvary Homes, a full-service, community-focused, Christian-based retirement community that has been enriching the lives of seniors since 1963.