Senior Citizens and Holy Week 2022

Holy Week is upon us, a week when Christians are called to reflect on the life, crucifixion, and resurrection of the one for whom the church is named. Even a casual reading through the four gospel accounts reveals a strong emphasis on how we treat one another. How we treat the least among us reveals our true values and priorities.

This week’s blog is courtesy of Allyssa Strickland ( I think you’ll find her well-researched suggestions for nurturing our most experienced folks helpful. Thank you, Alyssa.

Faith Communities Serving Senior Members

Although we often look to the needs of the world at large, in doing so, we tend to overlook needs in our own community. This can be seen clearly when it comes to senior engagement in many parishes. Often, senior members are left behind, struggling to keep up with all the technological changes, rather than valued for their insight and wisdom. Congregations can support senior members through prayer and spiritual-enriching experiences, mental stimulation, and pragmatic help with daily life issues.

Prayer and Spirituality

Ensuring the spiritual health of seniors can be as simple as honoring their wisdom, finding ways to inspire them, and making sure the faith community is easily accessible. For example, is there parking near the most appropriate entrance for worship or programs? Is there a covered area for drop-offs in case of inclement weather? Take a tour of your facilities and programming through the eyes of an older adult. Ask older adults to be part of the audit of facilities and programming. To ensure the seniors in your community are fed and inspired, consider these ideas and resources.

Accessibility In Worship Architecture: Does Your Facility Truly Welcome Everyone?

How to Open the Bible to Seniors

Tips for Starting Your Own Online Bible Study

Help With Financial and Home Concerns

For some seniors, living on a fixed income is a significant challenge, especially when it comes to keeping their homes in good shape. However, faith communities can help seniors stay on track and assist them in planning for their future.

When seniors can no longer do the routine home care projects they once easily completed, hiring help can eat holes in their budget faster than a moth can leave holes in that favorite old sweater. Faith communities can step in to do some of the routine home upkeep projects, helping seniors stretch that fixed-income budget.
4 Tips for Helping Seniors Budget on a Fixed Income

Eventually, many older adults concede keeping up with the house is just too much work. They decide it is time to downsize. Faith communities can support seniors as they make these difficult decisions and transitions.

What Senior Citizens Should Know About Selling Their Home
What to Know If You Downsize Your Home to Save Money
Estimate the Profit from a Potential Home Sale

Aging at Home

When seniors decide to age in place, they may need help modifying their homes to make them senior safe, not unlike when the house was occupied by a toddler and parents focused on “baby-proofing” their homes. Simple adjustments can lead to major safety improvements. Here are 13 Home & Kitchen Fixes to keep seniors safe at home.

Faith communities can be a huge support to their senior members by organizing teams to oversee some of these modifications. This is especially true for seniors who live far away from adult children and other extended families. Often seniors are reluctant to ask for help, even when family lives in the area because they don’t want to be a burden to the family.

Health Needs

As seniors age maintaining maximum health requires them to stay active, maintain an active social life, have a well-balanced and nutritious diet, and get regular exercise. Finding ways to do this can be challenging in their later years as family members move away for new jobs, friends begin to die or move away to be near their families, and shopping and cooking become more and more of a burden.

Seniors can easily be shut off from the stimulation they need because they can no longer drive, develop mobility issues, or struggle to adapt after the loss of a life partner. When this happens, the faith community can again be there to help find ways to bridge gaps between their needs and their capabilities.

Dozens of government and non-profit organizations offer solutions, but accessing those resources is often overwhelming for seniors who grew to maturity without ever touching a computer. In modern life accessing most resources requires minimal skill in navigating websites. Younger members of a faith community can be a source of great help in helping older adults find the resources that improve their quality of life.

The Dangers of Senior Loneliness and Isolation
What Medicare Covers for Mental Health Services
For Older Adults, Exercise is Key for Health and Happiness
A Guide to Medicare Benefits
National Council on Aging

Life in a Post-COVID World

COVID forever changed how we live daily life and we’ve all had to adapt. The impact has particularly impacted seniors who may struggle to learn all the new technology required to fully participate in modern society. Faith communities can play a significant role in giving the seniors in the community the dignity they have earned after a lifetime of contributing to society. Their many experiences facing and overcoming challenges make them great mentors for younger people.

We are called to be humble and serve one another so that,  together, people of all generations will thrive. We hope these resources help you figure out how to best address the needs of the seniors in your faith community. Holy Week is a good opportunity to assess how well our faith communities are doing in including those among us with the most life experience.

Share these suggestions for supporting the seniors in our lives with a friend or sign up for your own free subscription at HowWiseThen.

Mayflower Chronicles: The Tale of Two Cultures covers the Pilgrim’s escape from England and much more of the interaction between them and the Pokanoket people. Available wherever books are sold in paperback, eBook, and audio. (Supporting local Indie Bookshops)
Autographed copies available from

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *