When selecting activities, spiritual needs are important to consider. Often the need is unspoken or unrecognized. Reading the Bible to someone with poor vision, or engaging in other spiritual activities, can facilitate meaningful conversation, comfort and joy.
“My faith is more important now than at any other time in my life.” – J.C., age 83
Stimulate spiritual, intellectual and emotional discussion.
Many individuals—especially those living alone—have few opportunities to speak or engage in conversation. Activities such as coloring and painting offer these individuals an opportunity to relax and engage in meaningful conversation.
Allow time for greeting the individual and setting up materials.
Allow the participant to focus on the activity and work at their own speed.
Allow conversation to evolve naturally – offer a smile and listen.
Place finished artwork in a plastic sleeve or art binder to look at later.
Don’t underestimate the individual’s capacity to understand.
Don’t rush the activity or hurry the conversation – give the person time to respond.
Don’t use words that are unfamiliar – stick with familiar words or offer to look up unfamiliar words.
When they begin to tell you about something in their life, keep the focus on their story. Show them you are interested – make eye contact, smile and listen. Share their joyful memories and disappointments with simple words:
“That sounds lovely.”
“How did it feel when that happened?”
“Would you like to talk more about that?”
All Christians need the fellowship and encouragement of other believers.
The best gift you can give
Tending to an aging loved one’s spiritual needs can give much needed comfort and joy in their time of change and uncertainty.
Bible-centered activities and conversations provide opportunities for individuals to work on their own growth and learning – leaving lasting, positive feelings for everyone involved.
“The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” – Proverbs 11:25 (KJV)
Did you know?
Greater than 90% of elderly people consider themselves religious or spiritual.1
Source 1Daniel B. Kaplan, PhD, LICSW, Assistant Professor, Adelphi University School of Social Work, Barbara J. Berkman, DSW, PhD, Helen Rehr/Ruth Fitzdale Professor Emerita, Columbia University School of Social Work, Retrieved August 24, 2018 from https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/geriatrics/social-issues-in-the-elderly/religion-and-spirituality-in-the-elderly
“Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s 1wealth.” [1Well-being]
– 1 Corinthians 10:24