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Faith and Spiritual Growth for the Maturing Adult

Spiritual and Personal Development: What Do Maturing Adults Really Want?

What Do Maturing Adults Really Want?

by Richard P. Johnson, Ph.D.

Research into the needs of maturing adults finds that they fall into two general categories: 1) physical needs, and 2) psychological needs.

Common physical needs include:

  1. Health,
  2. Housing
  3. Diet
  4. Exercise
  5. Recreation
  6. Transportation.

Common psychological needs include:

  1. A sense of self-worth
  2. Feeling productive
  3. Overcoming loneliness
  4. Having at least one close friend
  5. Experiencing a sense of purpose
  6. Meaningful roles
  7. A sense of belonging (family)
  8. The ability to cope with change.

It may be surprising to learn that maturing adults rated psychological needs as their highest priority.

When we translate these eight psychological needs onto the spiritual plane, we discover a new horizon of needs for maturing adults. We may find that the most pressing and urgent needs for maturing adults might be spiritual needs.

  1. Surrendering ego (self-worth) needs to Holy Self needs.
  2. Offering oneself to others in a selfless manner.
  3. Experiencing communion with God and with God's creations.
  4. Being intimate: sharing one's true (holy) self with others.
  5. Achieving the spiritual works of mercy
  6. Practicing the corporal works of mercy
  7. Positive interactions with a close group
  8. Entering into personal/spiritual conversion

These eight spiritual needs provide a helpful framework for constructing an effective maturing adult faith formation program in your parish, or in the senior living facility where you work. For more information and insight into the needs of older adults, you may want to consult: http://www.senioradultministry.com/ProductInfo.aspx?productid=COURSE104

As we mature our spiritual pace quickens!

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