Finding the right retirement community is one of the most important decisions many seniors face today. There are so many factors to consider—including what the social support structure and senior care options available at a given community are like—that the choice can feel overwhelming.
However, beyond a great location, comprehensive levels of care, and desirable amenities, many seniors and their families are also adding abundant faith and fellowship opportunities to their list of criteria for finding the best place to spend retirement. And, they have a lot of options when it comes to faith-based retirement communities that fit their spiritual needs.
Statistics compiled in 2014 showed that about 81% of continuing care retirement communities are owned and operated by non-profit organizations. Of those non-profit communities, about 75% were affiliated with faith-based organizations, which included several Christian denominations and many with non-denominational values, as well. These numbers were projected to grow steadily as demand has increased.
Here at Calvary Homes, we are proud to be among the growing ranks of faith-based retirement communities, as we believe an approach to retirement living and senior care that glorifies God truly enriches lives.
Is A Faith-Based Retirement Community A Better Choice For Your Spiritual Needs?
It’s true that we all have spiritual needs, and those can become harder to fulfill as we age and are faced with health challenges, loss, potential memory issues, and other difficult life experiences. Faith-based retirement communities like ours place intentional focus on creating opportunities for residents to connect with our Lord Jesus Christ so they can be more resilient in facing any challenge.
With that in mind, here are five advantages to think about as you consider a faith-based community like Calvary Homes for your retirement.
1 – Shared Values
While many retirement communities embrace the beliefs of their residents by providing church services, offering Bible studies, and observing religious holidays, faith-based communities celebrate faith as the core of what we do every day. Faith is present in every decision, large and small, from our mission statement to our plans for daily activities, to the way we connect and interact with residents and each other.
Sharing values such as joy, compassion, stewardship, fellowship, and community have become a way of life that religious communities like ours 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 senior living communities.
2 – Solace and Support in a Time of Transition and Uncertainty
The decision to move to a senior care or 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. A faith-based community offers many opportunities to strengthen and deepen that faith while providing a sense of comfort and familiarity during difficult transitions.
And, faith-based communities can also be a great option for those who are just discovering their faith, and even for those 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—even in times like these when worries abound.
3 – Opportunities to Get Involved
Faith-based communities offer many opportunities for active participation for residents through worship services, prayer groups, holiday celebrations, and more. In many religious 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 fellow residents to activities, and so more.
Continuing to feel a sense of purpose by using our spiritual gifts can help seniors feel more vibrant and healthy in all aspects of life, fulfilling spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and even physical needs.
4 – A Sense of Community and Belonging
One of the hardest things seniors face when leaving their private homes to move to a retirement community 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 be a practicing member of 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 of rules to abide by, but a way of life that includes compassion for others, connection with community, and a way to aspire to something greater than ourselves.
While many factors 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.
Ready to Explore Faith-Based Retirement Communities? Start with Calvary Homes!
If you’re considering faith-based retirement communities in the Lancaster, PA area, for you or someone you love, we invite you to discover what Calvary Homes has to offer. We are a full-service, community-focused, Christian-based retirement community that has been enriching the lives of seniors since 1963.