Religion is a huge part of many seniors’ lives and many senior citizens will say it is a part of who they are and part of their identity. Experts acknowledge that religion offers older adults a structure for understanding life’s purpose, having hope, getting better, and gives them a reason to live.
A study that the New York Times published revealed that 54% of doctors echo that religion can affect the health of a patient positively. 74% state that religion gives senior citizens a positive outlook and 38% report that religion has been known to reduce medical events like infections and heart attacks.
With this in mind, it does not come as a surprise that investors saw the importance of coming up with faith-based senior care facilities. It is after noting that many elders love to incorporate faith into senior-care. These provide occupants with a spiritual environment where they can be part of a community of like-minded members who share similar values and religious beliefs. In the article, we will give you a chance to find out all the essential details about Catholic assisted living.
Catholic assisted living facilities are senior living retirement communities that go beyond offering residents housing, personal and medical care. They have a unique aspect in that they try and abide by the mission of the Catholic Church.
Catholic retirement communities make an effort to ensure that faith becomes a visible part of the resident’s daily lives. The elderly who have a rich heritage in the Catholic Church can enjoy various aspects that make these senior homes unique like:
Catholic senior living residences make it possible for retirees to spend their golden years in a supportive and loving environment that aligns with their faith. Managers and other staff members understand the spiritual needs of the residents and do their best to fulfill these needs in the best possible way.
Some Catholic-based assisted living facilities even have regular newspapers that are Catholic-based, allowing retirees to stay up-to-date with what is going on in the church. Aged adults can continue to worship and participate in as many religious services as they like inside these senior living communities.
Note that Catholic retirement communities include varying housing options where senior citizens can choose from, including low-income apartments and continuing care Catholic residences that offer a broad range of healthcare and housing options. While a majority have application processes, they do not limit inhabitants to Catholics.
Basic services do not vary widely when you compare Catholic retirement communities and assisted living facilities to those that are not faith-based. Both are set in place to take care of older adults who wish to maintain their independence while still having great retirement and accessing assistance whenever they are in need.
The primary difference is in the environment and the additional services tailored towards Catholics. Some of these senior living communities may have beautiful, serene compounds that resemble shrines with several prayer spots within the facility. Residents in retirement communities for Catholics have the freedom to go to and from prayer at any time and staff can conduct prayer sessions before meals and meetings.
Many Catholic-based senior communities also feature artifacts such as rosaries and crucifixes all around the facilities, giving Catholics a place they can feel comfortable in and a place that will always remind them of their faith. In such communities, inhabitants can discuss religion openly and feely since there is a strong Catholic presence.
There are numerous reasons why faith-based senior living residences appeal to religious aging individuals. Perhaps chores and home-maintenance are beginning to become cumbersome, and the elderly need a helping hand.
The communities take away the stress of having to look after their homes because there are professionals to do the job. It opens up plenty of free time for occupants to spend time participating in the things that they consider dear. The homes also offer residents security of knowing that there is someone always available when the retired adults need them.
The main reason many senior citizens move into Catholic senior living communities is to keep their faith close to heart. While staying here, they do not have to worry about traveling for miles to find a church or a priest when in need. Most Catholic retirement communities have chapels on the compound or convenient places to pray and worship.
The thought of socializing with other Catholic residents is often welcome in the communities because occupants surround themselves with people who are in the same path spiritually and they have a lot in common. Residents here have a chance to enjoy friendships with other seniors and staff members who share similar ethics, religion and views.
Moving to a Catholic assisted living home can help make the transition of moving from your previous home to an assisted living facility a lot smoother and easier. Retirees at this point can find security and comfort in their faith, helping to reduce the fear and confusion that comes with this major life adjustment, benefitting from both spiritual and social belonging.
While Catholic-based senior living communities will typically offer similar services, one still has to do due diligence before choosing the residence where they or their loved one will spend their post-retirement years.
Other than searching online, and asking friends and relatives for referrals, another great option to find Catholic retirement communities near you would be to check with your parish church. Here, you can get a list of the most accessible options to get a hint on where to start your assisted living search. With a variety of options in mind, take time to compare different retirement communities so that you can identify the ideal fit. Some factors you can work with include:
In addition to the faith aspect, you must make sure that the senior living community has all the necessary amenities and services that one needs to enjoy their formative later years. Depending on what the future resident wants, some ideal services would be nutrition and meals, housekeeping, laundry, exercise and social activities.
Some upscale retirement communities may have extras like indoor and outdoor pools, gyms, coffee shops, lounges, golf courses and tennis courts. Make sure you choose a community where retirees stay busy and intermingle freely with Catholic neighbors and other inhabitants when they want to.
You can only gauge interaction this by visiting a couple of facilities that you like. Check out to see whether the elderly look well taken care of and happy. Where possible, ask about personnel turnover and qualifications to make sure that aging individuals in the home are in good hands.
Inquire about how healthcare workers and aides are taught about Catholicism especially in cases where the professionals may not be Catholic. Some Catholic senior living communities offer reading materials, orientation and in-service programs to employees and volunteers as well.
You will need to find out where retired adults attend mass while in the retirement community. Is there a chapel in the community or do they have to travel to a nearby church? Ask how elders participate in traditional or liturgical Catholic activities. If there is a case where a resident cannot get out of bed for some time, can a priest visit their living quarters to give communion, the sacrament of penance, or anoint the sick?
While on the topic, it is also advisable to check out the calendar of activities to see how the facility observes holy days. If there are specific traditions or practices that an aged person would like participate in like the rosary or novenas, ask the facility how they should go about this to know if there is any support for it at the specific retirement community you are considering.
As mentioned earlier, it is always an excellent idea to find a Catholic-based retirement community that has additional fun activities for the occupants. When dealing with Catholic assisted living homes, go the extra mile to know if there are extra activities that support the faith. These could be things that seniors find valuable like private prayer and study groups or even charity work.
Be sure to find out the language that the clergy use to deliver their sermons and other services. It would not be right to end up in a situation where a resident does not understand what is going on because of language barriers. Look for a Catholic-based senior living community near you where elders will be comfortable and be a part of as many services that their new home provides.
It is vital to know how the community you choose looks after occupants when their needs begin to change. While an occupant may not be using a wheelchair when they first move-in, it may become a necessity in the future. It, therefore, helps if the assisted living facility has handicap accessible kitchens, bathrooms and hallways with safety railings.
Ideally, it is best to find a retirement home that offers continuum care so that retirees do not have to go through the stressful process of switching between senior living facilities and looking for another home when their demands or care-level increases. Finding a Catholic senior living community that can meet changing needs will be your best option, since a person does not have to start all over again in an unfamiliar environment when needs do change.
You do not want retired adults to go hungry in their new abode. Make sure that the nutrition needs of senior citizens are well-taken care of in the retirement community. Find out if the kitchen staff consider special diets for older adults who cannot take meals they provide on a daily basis for one reason or another. You can also arrange to visit the facility during meal times to sample some of the cuisines the professionals offer to know if it is up to par.
Different groups and organizations run or sponsor Catholic retirement centers and communities. Examples of such include:
The above are only a few examples. Depending on the state of residence, there may be other organizations that offer the option of Catholic senior living.
The price that inhabitants pay for the faith-based communities typically depends on a number of factors. In most cases, the cost varies based on the level of care. Senior citizens will pay for the care they receive. Research does not indicate that Catholic faith contributes to any significant difference in cost.
There are, however, some cases where residents may end up paying less because the institutions that sponsor the retirement communities strive to deliver affordable yet quality services to the aging individuals. Many Catholic senior living facilities provide low-cost housing that older adults can take advantage of. Many also have health facilities where residents can access affordable healthcare in their formative later years. It may also be safe to state that most of the Catholic and in general faith-based communities are driven by a mission to look after the elders and revenue is usually not or at least should not be their top motivation.
Priests, fathers, nuns, preachers and other members of the clergy also grow old and face retirement just like any other person. The ones who do not want to mingle with other retirees in assisted living communities can identify the ones that only serve priests or nuns. These usually continue with similar religious practices where priests and nuns stay separately. Here they receive appropriate care and can continue with prayer and worship during their retirement. Some facilities allow members of the congregation to join in as long as they are of the appropriate gender as a means of encouraging ongoing servitude.
Religion is a top priority for many aging individuals who are considering long-term care. They want the facility they move into to incorporate their beliefs. For practicing Catholics or even non-practicing aged adults, there are Catholic assisted living facilities available in different parts of your community and state.
Catholic-based senior living communities allow a person to find a second home in cases whether older adults want to move closer to their family or friends or simply to a new environment during retirement. These communities will offer an immediate cohort of believers who have similar memories, histories, ongoing rituals and faith that is reassuring and sustaining