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Religion helps elderly with depression


POSTED: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 4:00pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 5:19pm

Faith has pulled many people out of dark times, which is why it came as no surprise to us that a new study shows religion battles depression, especially within the elderly community.

"He's with us and He promised He would never leave us and He doesn't," said Tyler native Lynda Meadows.

Meadows grew up in the church, but 11 1/2 years ago her faith was tested.

"Our younger son passed away in an accident. Losing a child is the hardest thing I believe in whatever experience, but because of God's faithfulness, He saw us through it."

She said having faith pulled her through.

"God did not take my son. He allowed it to happen and I think he uses all of those situations to grow us and make our relationship with him stronger," said Meadows.

She then lost her husband 4 1/2 years ago, so like many elders who have lost their significant other, depression sets in, but without her trust in God, Meadows said she probably wouldn't be here.

"At that time I said, Lord it's just me and you and you have to tell me what to do everyday, every decision to make and just lead me and guide me through all of this," said Meadows.

"We try to encourage those seniors that are dealing with issues to help them know God still loves them and God still wants the best for them," said Minister to Senior Adults at Green Acres Baptist Church Glenn Jones.

Jones said leaning on others and praying can do wonders.

"The scripture says that we need to rely upon the Lord and his strength and when we don't understand the future, understanding that God knows and their faith is going to bring them back to the focus on the Lord and that will help them with a situation of depression."

He said having that social interaction, especially in the church, can help lighten someone's mood. Jones has seen it time and time again, an elderly person, whose lost their significant other, fall into deep depression. But, encouraging them to prayer and interact with others can help lift their spirits.

"The very worst thing someone can do is sit at home, look at the four walls in their room and watch television and there is no social connection and with that connection in the church then there faith is strengthened as well because they see their friends going through the same things."

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