The Importance Of Practicing Faith For Older Adults
Earlier last month, Kingsway Community volunteer Kristin Black received the 2023 Spiritual Guidance Volunteer of the Year Award from New York State Health Facilities Association and the NYS Center for Assisted Living. The award is for her work over the last 15 years in helping residents continue to practice their faith as they did in their former homes and communities, something the Kingsway Community team feels strongly about, and for good reason.
Studies have shown that practicing spirituality or religion as one gets older can actually improve health outcomes, slow cognitive decline and help people use coping strategies to achieve a better quality of life. These benefits can be attributed to the fact that spiritual people tend to have a more positive and hopeful attitude about life and illness, which can improve health outcomes, as well as a greater ability to cope with illness and disability that often comes with old age. Religion can also give seniors a sense of meaning and purpose in life which can affect their physical health.
But practicing faith has another big benefit for seniors, that doesn’t actually have much to do with spirituality at all: It gives people a sense of community, therefore preventing social isolation. At Kingsway, this is front of mind: that’s why our Resident Engagement team schedule transportation to area churches and facilitates gatherings, masses and prayer groups so that residents can come together to worship without having to travel far from home.
Kingsway would like to thank Kristin Black for her service to our residents: We look forward to working with her for many years to come.