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Supporting Loved Ones in Senior Living Communities: Lessons From the Book of Acts

The Book of Acts is arguably the most influential book in the New Testament of the Bible besides the Gospels. It shows the roots of the Christian church growing around the Holy Land just after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Use these lessons from Acts to help encourage, support and counsel your loved ones as they settle in to their new home.

Acts 2:44 – Being in Community With Peers

Moving into a senior living community may be daunting to your loved one because of encountering entirely new surroundings and people. Making friends and finding a community of peers can be difficult at any stage of life but possibly even more so as we age. In Chapter 2 of Acts, the fellowship of believers is touted as a wonderful way to live out the legacy of Christ: “All the believers were together and had everything in common.”

Encourage your loved one to look around carefully and notice how many like-minded people also live in their assisted living community, sharing their beliefs, routines and hobbies. Especially remind your relative that Bethesda Senior Living Communities are faith based. Even when it may feel tough to find other commonalities, a shared belief in Christ can help your loved one form a sense of community with their new neighbors and enjoy true fellowship.

Acts 4:32 – Sharing Possessions in Community

When new residents come to Bethesda Senior Living Communities, it’s often after moving out of homes that are much larger than their new apartments. Your loved one may be feeling the shock from extreme downsizing and wondering about their possessions and what will be available to them if they need it. For this concern, we can turn to the Book of Acts, Chapter 4, verse 32: “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.”

All our treasured residents face similar downsizing and relocation concerns, and the staff in our communities work hard to ensure that everyone has access to anything they need. You can encourage your loved one to participate in the sharing dynamic common to our communities. Common rooms in our communities have games, books, movies, craft supplies and many other goodies available for all to use.

Acts 9 – The Conversion of Saul Means Anyone Can Change

Your loved one will encounter a spectrum of personalities in their senior living community. Your relative may get along well with most of their neighbors while facing challenges in bonding with others. Help your loved one not to feel discouraged when they meet someone who hasn’t yet become a friend or whose personality they don’t prefer.

A key way to do this is reminding them about one of the most powerful lessons from the Book of Acts and, in fact, the second half of the New Testament. The conversion of Saul — who becomes Paul after baptism — is something no one saw coming. The apostles don’t trust him because of his previous persecution and wicked ways. Saul doesn’t even want to convert, but then, the Holy Spirit intervenes and Saul — now Paul — becomes a believer in Christ. He becomes one of Christ’s most fervent champions and the person who would go on to author the epistles that finish out the New Testament. You can use this as a reminder to your loved one that anyone can change at any time through the power of God — never, ever give up hope.