Senior Immigrants Benefit from Community Engagement
Harry Cline, Gracefully Greying Contributing Writer
Getting settled into a new area can take some time, and for many immigrants, it can also be stressful. Learning how to get around, how to speak the language, and where to find necessities can be a challenge and can often take a toll on one’s mental health. That’s why it’s imperative to look for online resources and to make connections that will help you during the process. Here are just a few of the benefits that engaging in your community provides.
Support your loved ones back home
If you have family members back home, you may want to send money or care packages now and then. Having friends in the community can be beneficial when you’re ready to get started, as they can help you put everything together or even help raise funds. If you have family in the Philippines, for example, sending money to them can quickly become costly due to fees, but a service like Remitly will allow you to get cash to your loved ones quickly and efficiently; in fact, depending on when you need the funds to arrive, there may be no fees at all. If you’d prefer to send specialized care packages back home to loved ones in India, for example, visit Easyship to find affordable shipping solutions. Talk to your loved ones about their needs and keep communication open with your friends in the church community, as they may be able to help.
Find other ways to reach out
While letters and packages are wonderful ways to communicate, it can boost your spirits to have other ways of getting in touch. It’s essential to maintain ties to your loved ones back home, as this can help to prevent a decline in your mental health. Moving to another country can sometimes bring about feelings of isolation or depression, especially if there are no close family members nearby. The members of your church community can help you stay in contact with your loved ones by providing assistance with setting up video calls on Zoom or Skype or even arranging a visit, so reach out when you need to talk to someone back home.
While it’s important to maintain a connection with your loved ones, it’s also beneficial to get out into your new community and get involved. Belonging to a church fellowship will allow you to find volunteer opportunities in the area, or you might support the less fortunate through various church-related programs. Not only is this a great way to meet new people and create lasting friendships, but it will also help to prevent the loneliness, anxiety, and depression that can occur as a result of moving to a new country.
Get some relief
Not only can you help others through your involvement with the church, you can also receive help. Many seniors struggle with food insecurity or are living with a disability that prevents them from being able to clean, cook, or drive to health-related appointments. Having the support of your church can help you get some extra support. There are also various social benefits offered that will boost your mental health and keep you cognitively engaged.
Moving to a new area as a senior can be challenging, so it’s essential to take care of your body, mind, and soul. Practice self-care as often as possible and reach out when you need help, as your community wants you to thrive.
Photo via Pixels
Submitted to Gracefully Greying by contributing writer Harry Cline, newcaregiver.org
The content within this article are the author’s personal thoughts - it contains information that is intended to help the readers be better informed. Always consult a professional for your individual needs.