I want to thank Jason Lewis for contributing this piece reflecting his personal experiences in caring for his mom. As a volunteer chaplain at a nursing facility for over 25 years I am delighted to be joined by someone else who does what they can, where they are to serve those in that vulnerable chapter of their life.
Jason Lewis is a personal trainer, who specializes in helping senior citizens stay fit and healthy. He is also the caregiver for his elderly mom. He enjoys sharing his fitness knowledge on his website. For many seniors, finding ways to stay social and active can be tough, especially after suffering the loss of a spouse or during a period of recovery from substance abuse. Many seniors battle loneliness, depression, and anxiety but don’t want to burden their families with it, leaving it untreated until it becomes even worse. Others are dealing with physical issues and don’t have close family members who can help out.
Going to church and belonging to a congregation can help a senior make new friends, form a circle of support, and stay active. Churches offer a place of belonging, where people of all ages can go when they need help or want to help others. In fact, working within a community and being engaged is one of the best ways a senior can battle depression.
It’s an unfortunate truth that many seniors become dependent on substances, either because they are trying to numb emotional pain or because they’ve formed an addiction to pain medication. Belonging to a church can help them learn how to be mindful, a technique used in various forms of therapy to help individuals who are having a hard time coping with emotional or physical pain. It can be difficult to make ourselves focus on the here and now, especially if we’re going through a transition as life-changing as addiction recovery. But taking even a few minutes a day to be mindful of all we have in the present moment – and especially all we have to be grateful for – can help us feel more at peace with ourselves, our surroundings, and our circumstances.
Talk to your senior loved one about the benefits of joining a church, and click here to learn more about substance abuse recovery.