The Good Samaritan Society, a Lutheran Social Service Organization, is a not-for-profit, registered charity with over 65 years of experience providing specialized health and community care services in innovative and caring environments.
The Need for a Spiritual Revolution:
Reducing Loneliness and Social Isolation in Residential Care Homes
Many older adults are lonely and socially isolated. The New York Times recently warned of a loneliness epidemic and Britain’s government appointed a new Minister for Loneliness to help address the health and social toll of loneliness. The need to belong is a fundamental spiritual need that is crucial to our well-being—it is associated with heart disease, depression and dementia. Loneliness also has an associated stigma, a ‘whiff of failure’ that is difficult to speak about. And so, it remains an open secret— heartbreakingly apparent but often ignored or accepted as the cost of growing old. There is an urgent need for a spiritual revolution in residential care homes—an overturning of the entrenched long-standing tradition of ‘light’ social events, such as games and social gatherings, planned and implemented by staff. Although these activities provide enjoyment for some, social isolation and loneliness persist.
A spiritual revolution is a move from what we can do to and for residents, to what they can do for one another. Peer support—residents helping each other. How can we better engage the community in meeting spiritual needs? How do we continue to have meaningful friendships/relationships into old age, and what structures might support that, across our residential care homes, including long term care homes, assisted living, retirement and independent living, adult day centres? Explore these questions in an interactive seminar dedicated to finding a new spiritual approach to overcome loneliness and social isolation.
For more information or to register, visit: https://gssworkshoplethbridge.eventbrite.ca