On another page, I talked about the importance of both medical and non medical care in a nursing home. One aspect of non medical care that is important is religious or spiritual fulfillment. Many people are or become religious as they age. These people must have access to religious services. They also need access to prayer groups, guidance from a religious leader, and more. Similarly, those who are spiritual must have the opportunity to fulfill this spirituality. To learn the spiritual and religious services that your loved one’s home should offer, read on.
Here, I am talking about a person’s beliefs and spiritual well-being. But, the terms “religious” and “spiritual” are slightly different. Often, the term religious is a more concrete one. If a person is religious, it means that they follow and practice a certain religion. In almost all cases, this means attending a particular type of religious service. Also, it might mean having access to the following things:
- Sacraments (such as confession for Catholics).
- Following certain dietary restrictions (such as for Jewish people).
- Having access to major religious texts, such as the Bible or the Quran.
- Having solitary time each day to pray.
- Being able to share religion with other people through Bible study and other activities.
- Being able to talk to a religious leader when needed.
- Giving back to those who are less fortunate.
If your loved one follows a particular religion, they should be able to practice it to the best of their ability. Being in a nursing home should not hinder their ability to practice a religion. If it does, it can have negative effects on your loved one’s happiness. If this happens, you might consider contacting a nursing home neglect and abuse attorney.
As mentioned above, spirituality differs from religiousness in a few significant ways. If your loved one is spiritual, it does not necessarily mean that they follow a religion. Your loved one might not attend religious services or need access to religious texts. But, they do need the time and the resources to fulfill spirituality. If a person is spiritual, it means that they believe in something bigger than themselves. This does not necessarily have to be a god or a specific religion – it might be nature, art, science, or a god. Regardless, practicing spirituality will be important for people who are spiritual. A person can practice spirituality in many different ways including through:
- Taking reflective walks.
- Doing yoga or pilates.
- Gathering with family or friends.
If your loved one regularly practices one of the above activities as a means of spirituality, they should be able to continue to do so in the nursing home. If your loved one’s spirituality or religious intentions are limited by a nursing home, you might want to consider a different nursing home or contacting an attorney.