Older adults with chronic illness often need a combination of medical treatment and social and spiritual supports. Together, they can make people healthier and happier, and less likely to suffer acute episodes that result in preventable hospitalizations. The medical treatment comes from doctors, hospitals, and health systems while the spiritual support comes from faith communities. And, in many cases, so does the social support.
But how can they work together? The worlds of medicine and faith speak different languages, often have different goals, and struggle to find common ground. Yet, I’ve found some interesting examples where, by working together, they can improve the well-being of seniors in their communities.