Spiritual Wellness for Seniors

Learn more about spiritual wellness as a key to seniors’ wellbeing.

image of residents of sunnyside manor senior living in wall, njHave you ever gazed with wonder at the majestic blossoms of a magnolia or cherry tree in full bloom? Perhaps you’ve felt a sense of peace and promise during a familiar prayer or a holiday celebration. Or, you’ve been moved by a great work of art or music that seemed to speak directly to you.

These pleasant experiences are part of “spiritual wellness.” Spiritual wellness is one of many dimensions of wellness, along with physical wellness, emotional wellness, social wellness, and more.

For seniors, spiritual wellness is an especially important key to wellbeing. Spiritual wellness affects and enriches all other aspects of wellness, and helps with the challenges that come with aging.

Read on to learn more about spiritual wellness, the many benefits of spiritual wellbeing for seniors, and how you can help support your senior loved one’s spiritual health.

What Does Spiritual Wellness Mean?

Spiritual wellness means having an overall sense of meaning and purpose that brings peace. For most people, that sense of meaning and purpose includes a feeling of connection to something bigger, like a local community, a religious community, nature, or humanity as a whole.

There are as many paths to spiritual wellness for seniors as there are seniors themselves. Wellbeing may be found in religious faith or in secular activities. Activities that bring a sense of meaning, purpose, and connection might include prayer, religious observances, creating art, spending time in nature, or volunteering.

Whether religious or secular, regularly engaging in activities and programs that bring meaning, purpose, and connection can infuse everyday experiences with a sense of peace and wellbeing. And, this sense of wellbeing has health benefits, too.

Benefits of Spiritual Wellness for Seniors

The benefits of spiritual wellness extend beyond the immediate joy or comfort of a meaningful activity. Seniors with an active spiritual life – especially those who are part of a spiritual community – are shown to have greater overall happiness and longevity.

Spiritual and religious practices can offer coping strategies for everyday stressors and changes that come with aging, and have been shown to help slow cognitive decline. Spiritual practice is also correlated with lower rates of pain, and reduction of stress and stress related conditions like high blood pressure.

Supporting Spiritual Wellness

Mobility and cognitive challenges can present obstacles to spiritual wellness for seniors. Fortunately, there are many ways to help senior loved ones connect with what’s most important to them. Here are ways to help:

  • Assist with coordinating transportation to religious services.
  • Research online options. Many houses of worship that began streaming their services during early social distancing requirements have continued this practice to keep their services more accessible.
  • Join your loved one for holidays and moments that are especially meaningful to them.
  • Give gifts that reflect what is meaningful to them – whether in the form of books, experiences, or mementos.
  • For seniors with cognitive impairments, simplified practices with familiar sensory features can bring comfort. (For example, a shorter church service that focuses on prayers, chants, or hymns they would have heard throughout their lives. Or, a guided gardening activity or walk in nature.)

A senior living community with a varied activity program can help make spiritual activities more accessible.

Here at Sunnyside Manor there are abundant opportunities to connect with others in spiritual practice.

  • Catholic mass and communion. Among the diverse group of residents here is Father Brennan, who offers mass each Sunday.
  • Visiting clergy. We welcome visiting clergy from a variety of denominations and traditions each month.
  • Yoga and mind-body wellness programs. We offer yoga and mind-body wellness programs weekly in all three neighborhoods.
  • Holiday celebrations. In addition to community-wide holiday celebrations, the private dining room is available for private family celebrations.
  • Access to nature. Abundant, accessible green space is just outside our doors, and we offer day trips to the shore during the spring and summer. In colder months, we invite nature indoors – we’ve even had a penguin visit!
  • Service opportunities. Throughout the year, we offer opportunities to volunteer with local groups.
  • Arts programs. See our calendars for abundant opportunities to create and appreciate art, including regular crafting sessions and live music performances.

As many faith traditions celebrate holidays of renewal and affirmation this season, we wish everyone a spring filled with happiness and good health.

Sunnyside Manor welcomes and honors seniors of all faith traditions. To see more of our programs in action, like or follow Sunnyside Manor on Facebook and Instagram

Learn More About Why Families Rely On Sunnyside Manor

When you have questions about senior living, we are here to help. Sunnyside Manor offers assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Learn more about Sunnyside Manor’s resources for caregivers. Whether you’re looking for short-term support or a longer-term plan, begin with our “Getting Started” guide. Please call us at 888-696-2052 to speak with a senior living expert.

Sunnyside Manor, located in Wall NJ, is the area’s premier family-owned senior living community. The community features three distinctive neighborhoods: Independence ‘Plus’ Assisted Living, Recollections Memory Care, and Long Term Care & Sub-acute Rehabilitation. Respite stays and palliative care are available in all neighborhoods.

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