The Benefits of a Faith-Based Community
At Minnewaska Community Health Services, our motto is “A community of services grounded in faith.”
Our residents know that we are committed to addressing the entire person: body, mind, spirit, and soul. Why is this important? Does it really matter if a residential community has a foundation of faith?
Studies show a connection between spirituality and mental health among seniors. According to a study published in the Journals of Gerontology , “Organizational religiosity decreases symptoms of depression and increases levels of optimism and self-esteem over time,” especially among men.
In practice, there are four main benefits that we see at play in faith-based communities, particularly for seniors.
Faith-Based Support and Prayer
In moments both difficult and mundane, it is comforting to residents and staff alike to be able to rely on the practices of prayer, scripture-reading, and the ability to find support based in faith. As the U.S. News and World Report stated: “In recent years, a growing number of rigorous studies have shown that spirituality – including prayer, meditation, and attendance at religious services – benefits health in ways that science hasn’t fully explained. Among other effects, regular worship and other spiritual acts appear to lengthen life expectancy, strengthen immunity, improve the body’s response to stress, and boost other measures of physical health.”
Improved Mood and Outlook
Those with healthy spiritual lives and an outlet for working through difficult times have a better outlook. Especially when faced with illness or changes in their lives, a strong faith has been proven to bring comfort and resilience.
Support a Faith-Based Mission
Many communities that are faith-based are non-profit organizations, meaning that they’re not motivated by profit, but for the benefit of their residents. For many, this deeper mission hits home. At Minnewaska, our fifth value is to be charitable in our mission by giving back to the community through public education, by providing space for community functions and by participating in community events.
Participate in Religious Services
Many communities offer religious services on site, with the option for free transportation to nearby places of worship. Prioritizing the ability to attend religious services supports residents’ connection with the community, with God, and with their church. For seniors living in a community, “…attending church can not only get them out of their residence and into the community, but it can also help them see all the good in the world and give their life a deeper meaning.” (Merck Study 2015)
Being rooted in faith is something our residents value most about Minnewaska Community Health Services. We make sure they find support spiritually so that faith can remain an important part of their lives.