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For Caregivers

This category speaks to matters especially important to caregivers–family members and perhaps professional caregivers–who help make life full for older adults. If nothing else, this category is one way of saying thanks!

F

Helper and helped one

(Because of my advanced MO degree, I am a bona fide Master of the Obvious. That’s why this entry will likely tell you something you already know. In this case, what’s obvious is this: That although I think of myself as helpful, I’m probably also someone who other people think could use some help!) For a good share of my life—continuing into these later decades—I’ve thought of myself as someoneMORE...

Moral injury

The December, 2022 issue of Scientific American included an article titled, *“An Invisible Epidemic.” Its subject: Moral injury, a psychological condition that results when someone’s principles are violated by contextual necessities. Examples include: healthcare providers during COVID’s worst days or soldiers killing civilians during wartime. Ethically wrenching situations were their new normalMORE...

For pastors (only)

I’ve known lots of pastors like you over my life. Your work has always been difficult, but recently it may have become tougher to fulfill your sense of purpose. Maybe you and I can step back here, and remember together what God offers to the world because of your vocation. That calling may be hard to describe, but it’s work that’s vital to fulfilling God’s will right now. You bring God’s wisdomMORE...

Ians by a different name

Hurricane Ian seems oddly christened. In its original Gaellic, Ian means “God is good.” As a suffix, ”ian” indicates that its root has the same qualities. (Thus we know that a guardian shares the characteristics of a guard, or a librarian can be identified by whatever a library might be.) Right now it may be hard to see Ian, the catastrophic hurricane, as something good. There doesn’t seem to beMORE...

Dementiated conversations

For about twelve years, I’ve visited a resident—let’s call her Gladys—at the same assisted living facility where my mother spent her last years. We used to talk about current events, revived memories, family circumstances and wisdom of all kinds. Now, with Gladys’s dementia working its will, the back-and-forth of a satisfying conversation might seem impossible. That’s not true, thoughMORE...

Blessed assurance

  Schools are out, so this may be the time of year when your grandparenting kicks into high gear. A good share of that honored relationship could be summarized in the phrase, “Blessed assurance.”  (Yes, I am aware that some readers may accuse me of stealing words from a beloved hymn writer. In my defense, though, let’s just say that I’m singing them differently….) Much of your work withMORE...

The other side of pastoral care

I don’t know for sure, but it feels to me like this pandemic has been especially hard for pastors and other professional church workers. Most professional leaders seem to be enduring all of this—quiet and uncomplaining—even when they might feel alone in keeping their congregations functioning. Many of them have also had to deal with the burden of keeping their congregations financially viableMORE...

Next Avenue: A personal recommendation

  I’ve been meaning to do this for awhile: Invite you to subscribe to a free online newsletter/journal especially written for older adults and their caregivers!  This one-of-a-kind resource can be found at www.nextavenue.org and it’s definitely worth clicking on, worth supporting financially, too. Let me tell you why…. In my experience, Next Avenue is probably the most helpful source ofMORE...

Word therapy?

Over the years, I’ve noticed that the first signs of cognitive decline and dementia often appear as the loss of memory regarding nouns. A key indicator seems to be the substitution of the word “things” in place of the names for ordinary items. Even common synonyms aren’t  available, so “things” becomes the go-to noun. This is a useful work-around, but also can be a signal that word-recallMORE...

Not in polite company

As she grew older, I may have failed *Mabel. Although I tried to keep in touch, visiting and calling her with some regularity, I still let her down in one aspect of older adulthood: I wasn’t honest with her about difficult matters. Instead, I chose always to be positive and helpful, building up what eventually turned into only a façade of normalcy. To be direct: Mabel and I didn’t talk candidlyMORE...

Bob Sitze

BOB SITZE has filled the many years of his lifework in diverse settings around the United States. His calling has included careers as a teacher/principal, church musician, writer/author, denominational executive staff member and meat worker. Bob lives in Wheaton, IL.

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