Thanksgiving: Shining Light and Gratitude on Communities Who Care for Their Older Adults
Love Thy Neighbor: A True Story
There once was an older adult who lived alone. He was not married and never had any children. His extended family did not live close by him. He was independent and managed his life well. One day, the man suffered an injury that changed his life for several weeks. He was unable to cook...
Staying Connected: Older Adults and the Use of Social Media
MY MOM’S STORY
My mom was born in Ohio but moved to Indiana the summer before her third-grade year commenced. In their community in Indiana, my grandparents maintained many friendships. Mom was active in school, and she was social and had many friends. The summer before her senior year in high school, my mom moved back to Ohio after my...
LISTEN UP: Hearing What Matters Most to Our Care As We Age
The population of the United States is aging. A 2017 study
found that “within just a couple decades, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history." As the number of older adults in our country and around the world rises, we are find an increased use in the term “age friendly.”...
Hope as a Journey
Assessing for Hope
As a chaplain working with older adults in long-term care, part of my call is to complete spiritual assessments with residents. In obtaining their spiritual histories, I use the HOPE model
. The tool allows me to talk with residents about what brings them hope and joy among other things. When a resident arrives to the community,...
Small Groups: Big Connections
Connecting Through Small Groups: A Story
Last week, at the continuing care retirement community where I serve, the speaker for our senior class group that day called two minutes before class was to start and canceled. With a room full of residents waiting on the speaker, I told them she was unable to come. Rather than disbanding the group on...
Love: How Music Brings Abundant Life in Community
I serve a community where music is valued as one way to connect with others. Through our Music & Memory
program, several residents have an iPod personalized with music they love — music that means something to them. One of our residents loves her music but does not enjoy wearing her headphones. For this resident, who loves people...
Narrative Gerontology and the Importance of Storytelling
The Importance of Storytelling and Story Listening
I was saddened by the recent death of poet Mary Oliver
. In the wake of her death, I spent time reading various pieces she had written over the span of her life. As I was working on this blog, I ran across one of her poems that spoke volumes to me about...
Finding One’s Voice through Singing: A Story of Love
During worship at United Church Homes' Fairhaven Community
, we light a candle each week in Advent as we travel the four Sundays to Christmas Eve. Each candle represents a different theme during the Advent journey. While the first three Sundays reflect hope, peace and joy, the fourth Sunday this year, Dec. 23, represents the theme of love.
Whole-Person Care at the End of Life
I recently went to the doctor for an initial consultation. After the doctor entered the room and shook my hand, she did something which, to me, was amazing. She sat down, looked me in the eye and compassionately said, “Tell me your story.” This doctor had my chart. She knew my medical history. I knew from a few things she...
Worship for Those Living with Dementia Brings Abundant Life
Mr. Mason was actively involved in his church community. He attended worship and Bible study regularly. If there was an event at the church, Mr. Mason was there. He assisted in many ways. His church community was important to him and had been since he was a child. When Mr. Mason was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, he continued to be...