One of the benefits of choosing a faith-based assisted living community is the community you can build within it.
While the communities under the Bethesda Senior Living Communities umbrella welcome residents of all backgrounds and faiths, the fact that they fall under a faith-based umbrella does mean they're likely to attract residents with similar beliefs. For seniors of faith, that can make it easier to make new friends, including important covenant friendships that can be a boon during retirement for both good and bad times.
If you're interested in continuing your walk with God as you seek to embrace a vibrant lifestyle in an independent or assisted living community, a faith-based community can help you there as well. Most of these types of communities include options for Bible study, corporate prayer and worship and fellowship on the activities calendar. Our communities also support spiritual health by providing access to a chaplain.
As an older adult of faith, however, you may also want to consider how you can serve within and build up the community around you. One of the best ways to do so is to consider how best you can live out the fruits of the Spirit as you move into an assisted living community.
According to Paul in Galatians 5:22-23, the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Here's a quick look at how each can show up in an assisted living community.
There are many types of love, and older adults have likely experienced many of them. For this season of life, you might look to share the following types of love with fellow residents and staff in your community.
The world is not always kind, but that doesn't mean older adults of faith can't strive to show the joy of the Lord to others. You can do this in your community by sharing a smile or laughter with others or encouraging everyone to join in on fun during social activities.
Jesus is pretty clear that he doesn't give peace like the world gives peace. As you work to shine your light in your community, remember to seek the peace of Christ each day. An active assisted living community lifestyle can sometimes be exhausting, so seeking quiet time or rest with the Lord can be important.
Living in connection with so many other people can be difficult at times. That's especially true when people might get cranky because they don't feel well or disagree on certain things. Being patient with your neighbors is a great way to show the fruit of the Spirit. If you feel annoyed with others, count to 10 before you speak or remove yourself from the situation and be patient, not returning until you can respond with the next fruit of the Spirit.
The Golden Rule definitely applies in assisted living. Treat others with the kindness you'd hope to receive if the roles in any given situation were reversed.
In a different epistle, Paul reminds the reader not to be conformed to the world but to try to do what is good, acceptable and perfect because these are the things that are pleasing to God. Of course, no one can exude goodness all the time; the point is that people of faith are called to try.
As you begin and go through your journey in assisted living, remain faithful to your beliefs. Choosing a faith-based community that supports worship, prayer and Bible study can make this easier, as you have easy access to the tools you need to grow your faith.
Think about how you can respond to situations and treat others with gentleness. Hopefully, as you live a vibrant, active life in your community, you make close friends. You may feel comfortable speaking truth into the lives of those friends, but it's important to do so with gentleness so they're more likely to receive what you have to say.
Paul ends his fruits of the Spirit inventory with self-control, which may be the least fun of all fruits to consider. Even as you enter a time of life when you may be able to take time to indulge in your own interests and activities and put yourself first in many ways, it's important to maintain a sense of self-control. Submitting your day, interests and activities to the Lord helps you approach them all in a more pleasing way and helps ensure better fruit is grown from those activities.