MEETING THE NEEDS OF SENIOR ADULTS
One of the most important things we can do is to include Senior Adults in the life of the church and the community. This aspect of inclusion begins but is not limited to planning their own ministry and activities. Far too often the church attempts to minister to Senior Adults rather than with them. The out reach programs of all groups must recognize that these people are not incompetent. They may in some areas of life be less able than they once were; however, they can still accomplish much with a minimum amount of help and leadership.
The main idea is to minister “with” the seniors rather than “to” them. Inclusion of these people gives them worth in their own minds and in the minds of others in the church and the community. In some ways this is analogous to the idea of helping the poor. There the best help is not a hand out but rather a hand up. The same is true with the Senior Adult group. They must be motivated in mind and challenged in spirit. When this is done they will begin to minister to each other and to others outside of their group.
Brother John, now promoted to Glory wrote the following article. I have decided to place this article written from his heart in this writing that all may know not only from books but from actual feelings expressed by not only a senior adult himself, but as one of the great pioneers of a true Senior Adult Ministry Program in the Church. He was the Senior Adult Pastor at Rockdale Baptist Church, Conyers, Georgia, and USA. I know of no better way to assist you in beginning and understanding a true senior adult outreach program than letting you hear it for your self. I prayed on of the last prayers over John, my mentor, as a Chaplain at Rockdale Hospital. An on call volunteer Champlain is one of the greatest out reaches you can do for seniors.
I often think seriously about the meaning of life, about serving God, and the past, and then I think about heaven much more than I used to. I struggle with how much I should be actively engaged in life or if I should begin to disengage. I know that I will disengage eventually, no matter what, I am determined to hold onto life even though my body continues to let go.
Would you remember something for me? Remember that Senior Adults are people too. We need pastoral care as much as ever. Remember to set aging in the context of personhood. Help me to know everything that is available about aging. Accept Senior Adults as individuals not as old folks-you may find a gold mine. Remember listen to us and listen well, and by all means, when you Listen, Hear!!
Remember the Senior Adult Program is not just for looks!! Remember the financially, physically and socially (disfranchised) among us. Give hands-on attention to the ministry to Senior Adults.
Recognize the inevitable disengagement of the aging, not as the evil intent of society and not as morbid, surrender of the individual, but as a physical reality of the human situation.
Encourage and invite the Senior Adult to be involved, not just in church but all of life. Help the aged to keep their independence as long as they can, yet prepare them for dependency. Open the way of Christ to the aged into the mystery of eternal life through Jesus Christ and the heavenly home before death comes.
Look at your own fast approaching old age and prepare for it!”
Home bound visitation, repairs of their homes, cleaning their homes, yard maintenance, wheel chair ramps, hospital visits, medication pick up, doctor visits with the seniors, trips, out door recreation, inside recreation, and delivering food to their homes offering fellowship are just a portion of what a good senior adult outreach program consist of.
Evangelistic Resource Center has hands on senior adult out reach programs and training. On this web site is a Senior Adult study Course. While attending Seminary, Dr. Grady began an outreach program that reached out over five counties. As The Executive Director he, his wife, and family , along with hundreds of volunteers, achieved huge steps in establishing one of the most outstanding senior adult programs in America.
Let the Evangelistic Resource Center help you put in place a great senior adult out reach program.
HEALTH AND SENIOR LINKS
Access to Continence Care & Treatment
A Philadelphia based national company that provides consultation, practice management, training, and research services relating to the assessment, treatment and management of urologic and gynecologic disorders,particularly urinary incontinence.
American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons
Click on their “Patient Information” button for bowel related information.
Let’s Talk About Bladder Control for Women
A public health awareness campaign conducted by the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC), an information dissemination service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institutes of Health.
A resource that brings together valuable information from trusted health organizations.
A Free Medical Resource.
Medical/Health Sciences Libraries on the Web.
Senior Age of Reason
Over 5,000 Links to sites of interest to the over 50 age group.
WWW Center for Eldercare Information.
Information about websites, products, and services that are “Friendly for Seniors”.
Home Page American Physical Therapy Association.
Weekly magazine published for active older adults.
Leading site on the Internet for the 50+ market.
A national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build a community of computer-using seniors.
Dedicated to provide a unique, informative, interesting, and entertaining Internet website for: senior citizens, adults 50+, your children, grandchildren, and caregivers.
Join a community of active older adults featuring chat, forums, original content, tips on finding free stuff, and product discounts. Topic areas include health care, computers, retirement, investing, caregiving, travel, news, grandparenting, and much more.
Magazine for caregivers and families.