Wednesday, June 18, 2008
more on aging--resources
This "visitation" book is a new item available at Concordia Publishing House. It deals with difficult situations head-on using devotions, psalms, hymns, and prayers. It is meant for pastors, caregivers and regular hospital visitors. It nowhere beats around the bush or prettifies problems.
Getting older and sick, or being alone or hospitalized can be very trying times. Just as I listed the comments about my sagging face in the last post, aging and illness can be extremely humbling. You become marginalized, less visible. Maybe soon someone will think you should chose to euthanize, since you are only a burden. What a psychological mill stone!
We must at every opportunity show care and respect to individuals who are getting older or suffering. This can be very challenging, as people become mentally ill and demented with greater frequency with advancing age.
I like the introduction to the resources on aging in the "visitation" book, quoted for you here:
Growing old brings us closer to our death and closer to God. But many who are elderly experience severe depression because of the loss of spouse or loneliness from living alone or the fear of physical suffering or even death itself. The elderly need the compassion of others who, by their presence, embody Christ for them.
After that it suggests Psalms 90, 39, 71, 73, 26; 2 Cor.5: 1-4, Isaiah 46:4; it gives a number of prayers and hymns.
What comfort in the word of God! How would one try to comfort someone without it? One would hope just in medical and beauty treatments--which can only go so far and will completely fail at some point.
I got an extra copy for Kathy who works in geriatrics.