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Why a Faith-based Community Was Important When Selecting a Retirement Community

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Most older Americans have an eye toward the future when considering where to live after retirement. That's because many will need long-term care as they age and they want their new community to accommodate them along the entire spectrum of care levels they'll need.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >
It's about community!

It's about community!

For that reason alone, choosing a retirement community is no simple task. Since moving into a retirement community is as much about the future as it is about the present, there's a lot of trust involved in the choices we make.

For some people, trust is more easily given when faith is involved.

Faith-based communities play an important role in serving older Americans as they age and for many, they wouldn't have it any other way. Here's why many of those individuals have chosen to reside in faith-based communities and what benefits they feel they enjoy as a result of their choice.

The Difference is 'Trust'

One of senior America's greatest fears is running out of money in retirement. According to CBS News, that's a fear largely driven by the prospect of high medical costs. Many have seen their own parents' savings dwindle to dangerously low levels after debilitating illness required long hospital stays followed by lengthy stays at nursing homes.

Most senior living communities provide a range of options, from independent living to skilled nursing care. As the level of care goes up, so may the cost -- sometimes to the extent that families can no longer afford to keep their loved one in a continual care setting. Some communities will even ask residents to leave if they can't manage the payments. Click here to learn more about the different types of Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs).

That's less often the case with faith-based communities, which typically operate on a not-for-profit basis. Particularly if they are Type A Life Care Communities, which pledge not to increase healthcare costs solely on the basis of increased level of care. Therefore, residents who choose these communities do so because they trust that the faith-based model will keep them in the system no matter what may occur with their health, or if they experience financial hardship through no fault of their own. It stems from the fact that these communities are operating as an extension of a religious or faith-based mission.

If you feel unsure about your retirement finances, click here to read about what you need to retire comfortably.

It's About Community

Choosing a retirement community involves much more than checking out floor plans and meal options. It hearkens back to the word community. It's who your neighbors are. It's the kind of opportunities you'll have for growth. It's the chances you'll have to make connections and for some, to make a difference.

Did you know that there are significant mental and physical benefits of older adults who regularly socialize? Click here to learn more.
For many older Americans, these aspects of living are deeply connected with their spirituality and/or their religion. For them, there's a certain peace of mind that comes from knowing those around them are in tune with the spiritual side of living. They view the integration of spiritual values with everyday living as a necessary component of the caregiving process, in fact.

Seniors who have chosen faith-based communities looked beyond the housing model and saw deeper into how their long-term needs would be met.

Spirituality is Key

Seniors who choose faith-based communities aren't always looking for a religious community. Many simply appreciate the general, spiritual values that they find, which aren't necessarily particular to any specific religion.

Many of these communities, in fact, accept residents of any faith. They understand that residents seek a supportive environment in which they'll feel nurtured spiritually as well as physically, emotionally, and mentally. And although spirituality is key, most, if not all, communities aren't there to try and convert their residents. They're more interested in seeing that certain common values are upheld.

Religious Traditions are Often Important, Too

Although most seniors who choose faith-based communities do so for the general, supportive environment and the importance placed on certain values, many do find it reassuring to know that they can continue their religious traditions in their new community.

The vast majority of U.S. seniors would call themselves spiritual or religious. Some sources say the rate hovers over 90 percent. For those whose religion plays a role in daily life, it's important to be able to continue those traditions and rituals.

Many faith-based communities offer some religious services on site and may even have clergy on staff. Others provide transportation to local houses of worship so residents can continue participating in religious services and social activities even after they've moved to a retirement community.

Coping with Transition

Finally, there's another significant reason why choosing a faith-based community can be important. It's natural and understandable that anyone considering a move will eventually face uncertainty and doubt. Making the transition from living at home to a new retirement community can stir up a range of fears and may even be marked by stress, sadness, and confusion.

All of these reactions are natural. After all, moving is a major adjustment in life for anyone at any age. Many people find comfort in faith, especially when facing times of uncertainty or doubt. Moving to a community where faith and spirituality play a major role in everything can make a big difference when it comes to adjusting and making a smooth transition.

Even once a senior is settled in, the spiritual emphasis can help them cope with other types of transition, too. For example, the process of aging can be another confusing transition. A connection to a faith-based lifestyle can help seniors cope.

Does the process of moving into a retirement community still seem daunting? Read these 5 tips for staying sane when downsizing your home for retirement. This will help you to feel more prepared and excited to start your journey.

Faith-based Senior Living for Everyone

You don't have to be part of a church to find faith-based communities appealing. The shared values, the sense of trust and security, and the extra support are just some of the advantages seniors encounter when they choose senior living with a faith-based mission. In fact, many of these communities are run by organizations that aren't affiliated with any particular religion at all. They simply recognize that today's older Americans seek spirituality in their new communities. If that describes you or a family member, it's good to know there are choices out there -- and several that are bound to fit your lifestyle.

Want to learn more about retirement communities that encourage residents to live a faith-based life? Click here to learn about Acts Retirement-Life Communities' commitment to spirituality and their approach to providing a faith-based retirement to residents of all faiths.


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