32 encouraging Bible verses for nursing home residents
In the United States, 7 out of 10 seniors age 65 or older will need long-term care. Nursing homes are the second most used facilities for long-term care, right after assisted living.
Nursing home residents, the majority of whom are over the age of 85, face a myriad of challenges that increase the risk of loneliness and depression. Some of the biggest challenges include isolation, declining health, diminishing mental ability, chronic pain, and incredible loss and grief.
Year after year and in study after study, experts urge policy makers and legislators to address the care of nursing home residents, including the alarming rates of depression. Among the elderly in nursing homes, depression is the most common cause of morbidity and lower quality of life.
Many churches and Christians try their best to visit nursing home residents, but the needs are overwhelming.
When we’re so overwhelmed by our needs or the needs of others, the best place to start is in word of God. In this article, you will find verses you can pray for yourself and others.
Unless otherwise noted, these verses come from the WEB translation, which can be found along with other translations on the Bible Gateway.
Encouraging words for nursing home residents
I like to teach the younger generation that encouraging words go a long way with senior adults. It doesn’t take many words to uplift elderly people. You can practice in your own household with a few well-placed words in your conversations.
For you older adults, you can be a faithful witness to the next generation by teaching them how to show respect for people in a different season of life. If you are a resident of a skilled nursing home, use the Bible verses here as words of comfort to a fellow elder or staff members.
Our Lord Jesus Christ knew we would need an Encourager. He told his followers about the great counselor he would leave with us when he returned to the Father in Heaven (John 14:16-17). The Holy Spirit is not only our counselor, but also our advocate, encourager, helper, and comforter.
During the worst of the pandemic, visitors were not allowed in nursing homes, but now some facilities are opening up and allowing us in. Here are some ways to get involved with your local nursing home to help with the spiritual needs of the residents:
- Check with the activity director to see if a local church conducts a nursing home ministry at the facility and then find out how you can become involved.
- Ask the leadership at your home church about starting a Bible study group.
- Lead a group discussion about how your church can share the good news of Jesus Christ with the elderly, who are often overlooked in outreach activities.
- On a Sunday afternoon, visit your local long-term care facility with a group of friends to sing old hymns with the residents. I did this for years when I was growing up. It’s one of the ways my mom taught me respect for elders.
Related: 30 Encouraging Bible verses for the elderly
Bible verses for nursing home residents
Bible verses about God’s love for older people
God stands by us at all stages of our lives. The world may abandon us, but the Lord Almighty never leaves us. God watches over his own, even us old folks.
Even to old age I am he,
and even to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear.
Yes, I will carry, and will deliver.
Emboldened by God’s love, Paul prayers in confidence that we can completely rely on God to bring his work in us to completion. We don’t need to rely on our own abilities, but in the promises of God.
Being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
When we are intimately acquainted with God, we walk in the light of his love. That light produces people who are characterized by their love for others. Loving others is evidence of God’s love in our lives.
1 John 4:16
We know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.
1 John 2:5-6
But God’s love has most certainly been perfected in whoever keeps his word. This is how we know that we are in him: he who says he remains in him ought himself also to walk just like he walked.
Related: Other “Bible Verses About” stories
Encouraging Bible verses for older women
When I find myself in need of strength, I search God’s word for scripture passages that I can use in my devotions and prayers. He really does speak directly to us through his word. As an older woman, I rely on God’s words as my main source of comfort and strength.
God is within her. She shall not be moved.
God will help her at dawn.
1 Peter 3:3-4
Let your beauty be not just the outward adorning of braiding the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, or of putting on fine clothing; but in the hidden person of the heart, in the incorruptible adornment of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord!
Strength and dignity are her clothing.
She laughs at the time to come.
She is more precious than rubies.
None of the things you can desire are to be compared to her.
She opens her mouth with wisdom.
Kind instruction is on her tongue.
Bible verses for elderly parents
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he reminds us about God’s promise to those who honor their mother and father. It’s the Fifth of the Ten Commandments and can be found in Deuteronomy 5:16:
“Honor your father and your mother, as Yahweh your God commanded you; that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land which Yahweh your God gives you.”
It’s a commandment that lasts a lifetime. Although it may seem unfair to some who grew up in troubled households, God’s word applies to all of us in the Christian church.
Years ago, I heard a sermon by Joyce Meyer about how God worked in her life to help her understand how to honor her father, who abused her, and her mother, who abandoned her to the abuse.
Her teaching helped me to see a way of how honoring abusive or toxic parents is possible. She gives highlights of her experience in this video “How to Honor Your Toxic Parents.” She tells us how God helped her answer the question: “Why should I do that, they never did anything for me?
Loving People Who Are Hard to Love: Transforming Your World by Learning to Love Unconditionally
By Joyce Meyer
For those of us in close relationships with elderly parents, we can find ways to enrich their spiritual lives. Here are some ideas to get you started, but we would love to hear more from you in the comment section at the end of this article:
- If distance keeps you apart, use video conferencing or phone calls to read aloud together from the Holy Bible. I have found it a fun way to share my daily devotional time.
- If you live close by, have devotion time in person while you share a meal together.
- Attend Bible study together.
- Pray the scriptures with one another.
- Sing hymns
- Watch online sermons. If you can’t do this together, each of you watch and then share in a discussion time.
- From time to time, share uplifting scripture verses, such as the ones below.
With aged men is wisdom,
in length of days understanding.
You shall walk in all the way which Yahweh your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.
The fear of Yahweh prolongs days,
but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
Inspirational Bible verses for the elderly
Psalm 23:6 (NKJV)
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
2 Timothy 4:8
From now on, the crown of righteousness is stored up for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day; and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved his appearing.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Proverbs 16:31 (ESV)
Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Bible verses for nursing home residents dealing with grief
Older adults begin to experience grief and loss as they outlive loved ones. This type of loss leads to increased feelings of isolation and loneliness. Instead of a self-help book, we can turn to prayer and the word of God when we need help in dealing with grief.
If you have a Christian brother or sister who is feeling the tremendous pain of loss, ask them if you can pray with them or for them. It’s one thing to write “praying for you” on a social media post, but another thing for those in grief to know someone is actually praying.
However, nursing home residents may already be fully immersed in the isolation of grief. Perhaps for them, simply sit in their presence and read scripture verses that deal with the grief and loneliness they are feeling. The living word of God brings hope.
Therefore you now have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Yahweh is near to those who have a broken heart,
and saves those who have a crushed spirit.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more. The first things have passed away.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed toward us.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, I give to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.
Bible verses for nursing home residents who live with chronic pain
I often hear people quip that getting old isn’t for the weak, and it is true that most older adults live with chronic pain from injuries or illness. Pain disrupts sleep. It distracts us in our daily lives. Pain can rob our joy in life.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, chronic pain:
- Leads to depression and anxiety
- Isolates us from others
- Prevents us from caring for others
- Makes us chronically fatigued
- Causes mood swings
I have a small glimpse into what it must be like to live with chronic pain, and I think most of you do as well. But for some people, chronic pain can define their lives. Whatever our circumstances, we can find support in the holy scriptures.
I was someone comforted to hear the verse about how Paul also had to deal with a chronic problem.
By reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted excessively, a thorn in the flesh was given to me: a messenger of Satan to torment me, that I should not be exalted excessively. Concerning this thing, I begged the Lord three times that it might depart from me. He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me.2 Corinthians 12:7-9
But I don’t give up in praying for God to alleviate or heal the pain. In all things, I go to him in prayer.
Heal me, O Yahweh, and I will be healed.
Save me, and I will be saved;
for you are my praise.
Yahweh will sustain him on his sickbed,
and restore him from his bed of illness.
For I will restore health to you,
and I will heal you of your wounds,” says Yahweh;
Jesus went about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness among the people.
Have mercy on me, Yahweh, for I am faint.
Yahweh, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
Yahweh my God, I cried to you,
and you have healed me.
Final thoughts on verses for nursing home residents
Let’s close with a prayer for our loved ones and strangers in nursing homes. I’ll start the prayer here and you can finish it in the comment section below. Thank you!
Dear Father in Heaven,
My heart aches for residents of care centers. Sometimes I can cry just thinking of the suffering, but instead, let me lift up their burdens to you.
Please God will you help those who are lonely. Bring companionship to older people who have lost friends and loved ones and to those who have been abandoned by family.
I pray that you ease their pain and suffering.
I pray that you bring ministering angels and Christians alongside them to bring joy into their lives.
I pray for the caregivers who look over them. Bless those who bring comfort to these residents.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our savior. Amen.