Quick Facts on Aging and How the Church Can Help

1 | Physical activity.
Regular activity can help older adults remain independent and prevent many health problems that come with age, but most people over age 50 don’t exercise beyond the movement required for their jobs.

2 | Falls.
Falls are the leading cause of injuries among older adults, including hip fractures and head traumas, and can be fatal. The fear of falling, which heightens after a fall, can limit future activity and lead to physical decline, depression, and isolation.

3 | Chronic conditions.
Chronic diseases, which become common in older adults, can limit a person’s independence in doing the daily activities that allow them to live on their in their own homes. Many older adults live with two or more chronic diseases, which may gradually advance—especially without care and support.

4 | Mental and emotional health.
Older adults are not exempt, especially if they become isolated or experience personal loss. Left untreated, these problems can complicate treatment of other medical conditions and reduce quality of life as people age.

What Can You Do?

1 | Take notice and take action.
Don’t settle for accepting that because someone is older, the person no longer needs the same connection to the faith community. Make calls, offer rides, share meals, pray together. Reducing social and spiritual isolation supports health.

2 | Share time and share resources.
You might be the link who can connect an older adult with resources in your community to support independence, safety, and health care. It begins with friendship so you know the specific need.

3 | Plan time and plan programs.
The number of senior citizens is growing. Maybe you’re the person to step forward in your congregation and advocate for organized programs to understand their needs and plan programming to respond not to one individual but to a group in your church or community.

Permission to reproduce for noncommercial ministry use. Download at chreader.org/quick-facts-on-aging-and-how-the-church-can-help

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