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Meeting the Spiritual Needs of Bedbound Elderly

When we think of caring for a bedbound senior, we often think of their physical and emotional needs and develop a number of ways to meet them. Yet bedbound seniors also have spiritual needs, needs that we may find ourselves hesitant or seemingly unequipped to meet.

Some bedbound seniors may have a strong, developed sense of their spiritual identity. They may have prayed or meditated, gone to worship services, or taken hikes to feel connected to nature on a regular basis before they became bedbound. Being disconnected from their spiritual routines can have a direct, negative impact on their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Home care providers in Albuquerque have also worked with seniors who never gave their spiritual needs much thought until being bedbound. All of a sudden, the big questions about life, death, suffering, eternity, and legacy may present themselves and they may look to others for answers.

Undoubtedly, the spiritual needs of a bed-bound senior are highly personal and can manifest themselves in a number of ways, some of which can be communicated easily and others with more difficulty. Yet just being with a senior relative during their time of need can create a bond of spiritual intimacy that finds a loved one or live-in caregiver fielding some of life’s “big questions.”

First, you can help create a sense of overall peace by focusing on positive family dynamics and shielding him or her from lingering, petty conflicts within or outside the family.

Second, if desired, arrange for a chaplain or other spiritual leader to meet you’re your loved one. Most houses of worship and care facilities have visitation chaplains whose sole responsibility is providing spiritual support for those of any faith or no faith at all. This spiritual support may also include members of your loved one’s spiritual community, for instance friends from a Bible study or yoga class.

Third, encourage your loved one to engage in confession or another means of expressing regrets to a confidante or spiritual leader so that spiritual healing may occur. He or she may also want to confess or express regret directly or in writing to someone who was aggrieved.

Finally, discuss how your senior loved one can cement a positive legacy or a memorial that will live on after he or she passes. Knowing he or she has a purpose outside of one’s own life is a very important spiritual need that can easily be met by such things as creating a scholarship, planting trees, creating a biographical web page, or making a video explaining life’s lessons for the family’s future generations.

If you provide care for a bedbound elderly loved one and could use assistance meeting his or her care needs, know that help is available. Home Care Assistance is a trusted provider of senior care, offering a variety of care options including stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia care in Albuquerque. We’re available 24/7, ensuring clients have care whenever needed, and clients can change their care schedules at any time without penalties. To learn more, call 505-798-0800 and speak with a friendly and experienced Care Manager.