Online Religious and Spiritual Programs: A God-send

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Until recently, if you were confined to your house, a hospital, or long-term care, you might get a visit from a chaplain or a weekly religious service at the facility. But for the more spiritual and religious, that feels like putting a penny in the money basket at church-a nice gesture, but inadequate.

The advent of online religious and spiritual offerings may be the answer to your prayers. With a mobile device or a computer (any web-based platform), it doesn't matter where you are, who you are -- the caregiver or the care recipient -- or how old you are.

"A lot of studies have shown there's an increased yearning for religion and spirituality as people age, and that those who get that support tend to do better than those who don't," says Carol Orsborn, Ph.D., executive director at CoroHealth, a company that offers both CoroFaith as well as MusicFirst (therapeutic music programming). "People feel more connected to a larger world, more optimistic, and more cared for."

Their services include sermons, bible readings, prayers, meditations on healing or hope, and lectures by experts and professors. Music is programmed by music therapists according to preference and issues. For instance, it can be designed to calm someone with dementia who gets late afternoon agitation.

CoroHealth asks questions about religious and spiritual preferences and then tailors its audio offerings. The majority of today's services, like CoroHealth's, are in hospitals and long-term care (although CoroHealth does have some in-home clients). Another company It's Never 2 Late offers spiritual programming in facilities; it hopes to expand to private homes.

If formal programming is not in the cards, most religions have audio and/or video sermons. Hay House radio has an array of spiritual and religious programs, many free.

Here are four questions to ask if you're contemplating these kinds of products:

  1. Is your family member interested in spiritual or religious support? Or, are you?
  2. Does the hospital or long-term care facility offer spiritual or religious programming?
  3. If you don't use a formal service, is the content you've set up appropriate for the situation?
  4. Does the speaker enunciate his/her words, and is the quality of the recording good?

What do you think about high-tech meets high spirits? Know of other divine services? Please share!

Follow Sally Abrahms at or on Twitter @sallyabrahms

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