A Domestic Peace Corps for Caregiving

Senior Corps volunteer serving in the Senior Companions program helps an elderly woman walk outside.

Senior Corps is a network of national service programs for Americans 55 years and older, made up of three primary programs that each take a different approach to improving lives and fostering civic engagement. Senior Corps volunteers commit their time to address critical community needs including academic tutoring and mentoring, elderly care, disaster relief support, and more.  To learn more about Senior Corps, click on the following link: https://nationalservice.gov/programs/senior-corps/getinvolved/senior-corps

Having “The Conversation” — the Conversation Project

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The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care.  The project provides “Conversation Starter Kits” to help you have the conversation with a family member, friend, or other loved one about your – or their – wishes regarding end-of-life care. It is available in several languages.  Talking with your loved ones openly and honestly, before a medical crisis happens, gives everyone a shared understanding about what matters most to you at the end of life. You can use this Starter Kit whether you are getting ready to tell someone else what you want, or you want to help someone else get ready to share their wishes.

All of the Starter Kits are available to download and print for free.  To learn more about the kits, click on the following link:

https://theconversationproject.org/starter-kits/#conversation-starter-kit


Creating a Safe Harbor for African American LGBT Elders

In October 2011, Imani Woody completed a study called Lift Every Voice that explored the unique experiences of African American lesbian and gay male elders. The study concluded that for this segment of the LGBT community, finding inclusive and welcoming environments can be very difficult.  To read an article coauthored by Daniel Redman and Woody about how service can provide a safe harbor for African American LGBT elders, click on the following link:  https://www.asaging.org/blog/creating-safe-harbor-african-american-lgbt-elders

Volunteer Naps with Cats at No-Kill Shelter

Imagine if part of your volunteer work was snoozing? Well, that’s exactly the case for one cat-loving seventy-five-year-old, named Terry Lauerman, who attends his local cat sanctuary every day and naps with the cats.

The Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary takes in disabled cats that would otherwise be at risk of euthanasia in other facilities and gives them, well, a safe haven. But the shelter’s unique volunteer has been making waves with his snoozy charitable act.

 

For more information, click on the following link: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/photos-of-75-year-old-volunteer-napping-with-cats-hauls-in-funds-to-run-sanctuary-for-a-year/

Playgrounds for elders

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Companies like KaBOOM! and Must Have Play are working to make a new type of playground available to the nation’s older population. The parks feature low-impact exercise equipment such as elliptical machines, stationary bikes,  and hand-eye dexterity games. The activities are meant to improve balance and flexibility.  To learn more, click on the following link:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/71078/playgrounds-seniors-are-gaining-popularity-america

Five Ways to Serve Elderly Church Members

5 Ways to Serve Elderly Church Members

This article discusses 5 ways of keeping older church members with diminished capacities involved and active.  They are:

  1. Provide avenues of connection for elderly church members.
  2. Livestream events and happenings at your church
  3. Create unique service opportunities.
  4. Include elderly church members in outreach.
  5. Create ministries to reach out and meet elders’ needs.

To read the article, click on the following link:  https://www.sharefaith.com/blog/2019/10/five-ways-to-serve-elderly-church-members/

Alzheimer’s/Dementia: Ministry with the Forgotten

 

How can churches help people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, and their caregivers? Answering that question is the topic of a new, free resource now available from The United Methodist Church.

The five-part study, titled “Alzheimer’s/Dementia: Ministry with the Forgotten” includes downloadable videos and a leader’s guide. Retired Bishop Ken Carder wrote the resource based on his experiences caring for his wife, Linda, who was diagnosed in 2009 with frontal temporal dementia.

“(The resource) was created to start conversations and to generate action around caring for people who have Alzheimer’s and the people who care for them,” said Carder, who currently serves as chaplain at Bethany Memory Care Center at the Heritage of Lowman, a retirement center near Columbia, S.C., where he and Linda live.

The aim, Carder said, is that the new offering can help older adult ministry leaders and pastors, family and caregivers of those living with dementia, as well as persons in early stages of dementia.

Topics covered in the study, designed to be used in a small group setting, include impact and challenges of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia; practical and specific ways local congregations can be involved in caring for those with dementia and their caregivers; and ways individuals can communicate, interact and worship with people who have Alzheimer’s and dementia.

To view the materials, click on the following link

Dementia Resources