When we think about religion, we often find that it soothes the soul and makes those who worship at peace with themselves. It offers hope and comfort for the elderly who may be having problems both physically and emotionally as they grow older. Religion promises a better future for us beyond the troubles of earth and the prospects of once again being with those we have lost.
But religion may be more than just a promise. Studies done by the Rutgers’ Institute of Health and the Yale University School of Medicine show that regular church attendance may also benefit a person’s physical health and emotional well-being.
Is this the power of God? That would be for you to decide, based on your own belief structure, but the findings found three important areas where health was improved.
By engaging in religious activities, older subjects were found to have a lower level of unhealthy behaviors. People were on a schedule with their religious services and exercised more and participated in less risky behavior, such as drinking and smoking which may have been reinforced by their religious beliefs.
Members of a congregation had developed a stronger social system, more friendships, and participated in more activities through their church. This also included being involved with activities on holidays where the elderly person otherwise would be alone due to lack of family in the area.
The opportunity to participate led to fewer issues with depression and more fundamental daily activities such as, climbing stairs, using the restroom, and walking. Being around other people who share similar belief systems often makes it easier for the elderly person to cope with life and growing hardships.
The overall findings showed that the combination of community, friendship and activities had a positive impact on a older person’s life and quality of living with religion being the common thread between the three.
To find out more about elder law and care issues, contact the Kabb Law Firm at: 216-991-KABB (5222)