Quaker Aging Resources
New York and Philadelphia Yearly Meetings of Friends (Quakers), through generous funding from Friends Foundation for the Aging and the Thomas Scattergood Foundation, collaborated to develop Quaker Aging Resources. The project was designed to assist Meetings and individuals in responding to the needs of aging Friends including age related changes, chronic illness or disability.The resources are intended to uphold a culture of care for the body, mind, spirit and community of the individual which is consistent with our Quaker faith, and address the following needs:
- Emotional /Behavioral Care
- Meaningful Retirement
- Death and Dying
- Physical Health
- Housing/Aging in Place
- Spiritual/Pastoral Support
- Financial Matters
Each Yearly Meeting also has a library of materials and programs available for Meetings and individuals in their geographic region. The resources are designed to support Friends’ aging with particular attention to spirituality, supporting a discernment process and offering concrete and specific information.
New York Yearly Meeting: Aging Resources Consultation and Help (ARCH)
ARCH offers older adults and persons with disabilities the information they need to enhance quality of life. This is achieved through full use of Monthly Meeting and community resources. Education and insight is nurtured through workshops, printed material, website resources, ARCH Visitors, and advice from trained consultants. One-on-one listening is available for individuals and families as they deal with the last third of life.
An ARCH Visitor is a Friend in NYYM who has taken the ARCH Visitor training program because s/he has a call to visit seniors and adults with disabilities within one hour from home. Visitors provide a listening ear and, hopefully, a connection to appropriate resources to improve the life of the person visited. Visitors maintain a close relationship to their Monthly and Regional Meetings, and stay in touch with the ARCH Coordinators.
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Care and Aging
The PYM Care and Aging Program provides practical guidance and pastoral care to individuals, families and Meetings in the manner of Friends and in a way that nurtures the whole person on his or her life journey.This program has care of the Quaker Aging Resources project and is supported by the Care and Aging Coordinator, a licensed social worker, and social workers contracted with PYM. PYM Care and Aging Services include:
- Support Meetings in their pastoral care to older adult members through resources and trainings. Support Meetings to respond to the needs of members and attenders who are facing challenges.
- Provide interventions including assessments, referral services and social work services for Meeting members in need or who may be at risk.
- Coordinate requests for grants from the PYM granting groups serving older adult Friends.
Friends Foundation for the Aging
The mission of Friends Foundation for the Aging is to promote innovative, value-based options for seniors, collaborating with other institutions in identifying, developing and funding promising undertakings. Our work is grounded in the faith, practices and values of the Religious Society of Friends and is informed by Friends experience in providing high quality programs and services that enhance the lives of seniors, that foster independence, and that respect the dignity of all.
The intent of FFA is to work as a partner with prospective grantees, collaborating in developing and shaping programs and participating in oversight. This approach enhances the fluidity of our grantmaking and eliminates the necessity of calendar-based grant cycles and formal application forms. We expect to focus most of our available resources on relatively large-scale grants and to extend our support over multiple years. Some funds are also available for modest, one-time only grants.
In recognition of its long-standing connection with New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, FFA is committed to allocating a portion of its resources to the Yearly Meeting in support of senior-focused programs. The nature of such programs will likely change from time to time as determined by Yearly Meeting Friends. An initial venture, formally launched in early 2009, is the ARCH program, based in the Albany area of New York State.
The Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation
The Scattergood Foundation is a Quaker-based, philanthropic, grant-making foundation committed to raising its voice to improve the system through which behavioral healthcare is delivered in the Philadelphia region. The Foundation’s vision is to “be Thomas Scattergood” for our time, seeking opportunities for productive dialogue and learning within the behavioral health field; and activating leadership and collaborative endeavors through award of targeted grants to address pressing behavioral health needs in innovative ways.
The Quilt Motif
We chose the quilt as a visual symbol for our project because it represents warmth, comfort, interdependence, and vibrancy. Different patches together make an interesting, stronger whole. Specifically, we selected the log cabin pattern. The red square at the center of a log cabin quilt traditionally symbolizes the hearth. Imagine yourself as this center. Immediately surrounding you are pieces of yourself and your community that help to make you whole –your spiritual needs, emotional support, physical well being, social supports, financial stability, housing. In anyone’s life, there are times we need mending. One color may have to fill in for another. Alone, the fabrics may fray at the edges. Relationships, like the stitches of a quilt, hold us together and lend strength and color to our lives.