- Growing old, even when that means facing physical or other changes, can help us focus on what is essential. As we age, our perspective on what has meaning is refined. When we slow down, whether because of physical changes or by choice, we often become more contemplative. We may want to share memories and stories, to forgive or be forgiven, to express gratitude, to focus on our most essential values. Older adulthood offers the opportunity to model peace. Read More - "In our personal lives, Friends seek to ackowledge and nurture sexuality as a gift from God for celebrating human love with joy and intimacy...Learning to incorporate sexuality in our lives responsibly, joyfully, and with integrity should be a lifelong process beginning in childhood." PYM Faith and Practice, 2002. Sexuality in Mid and Late Life: Excerpts Read More - Today, we have words that identify various mental illnesses and a bit more willingness to talk about emotional or behavioral health the same way we might discuss diabetes or stroke. We may be willing to accept that mental illness is hereditary or has roots in brain makeup or body chemistry. Nevertheless, have we truly lost our fear and moved from tolerance, to engaged support for those with behavioral or emotional health challenges? Read More - A Time of Loss and Change: depression is not a “normal part of aging” just as it is not a normal part of our development at any age. In older adulthood and at other times in our lives where we are facing loss, isolation or change, we may be at higher risk of depression. Loss of loved ones, roles, home or community ties, or physical changes can increase risk for depression. Men especially are more at risk for depression as they age, and suicide rates increase dramatically for men over 65, even more so for those with a history of depression. Read More - It is natural for the person in need of care to become the focus of a community’s concern. However, families and loved ones acting as caregivers may need spiritual and practical support just as much as the person who is ill. Read More - Older adults are more likely to be facing enormous changes, loss, illness, or dementia that can cause or exacerbate anxiety. Conversely, when one is very anxious one may become forgetful or confused. Although it is usual for anxiety to increase with major life changes, anxiety that disrupts a person’s usual activities can and should be evaluated and treated.
Anxiety disorders are among the most treatable of illnesses, and include panic disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety disorder. Treatments vary and include medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, desensitization and relaxation techniques, yoga and exercise, and natural remedies. Read More - Validation therapy, developed by Naomi Feil, works from the belief that there is a reason behind the way people behave and what we communicate. When we validate, rather than judge one another, we honor the unique spirit within each person. Read More - Grief, the intense sadness that comes after a loss, manifests itself in many forms, is different for everyone, and often impossible to put into words. Though grief is universally experienced, it can be isolating. Reminding us of our aloneness in how it affects each person differently, it is something that one must go through in one’s own way. It can numb, enrage, or level a person all in one day. It may challenge our faith. Read More - While hoarding may be treated successfully as an addiction, it is an anxiety based disorder and sometimes requires professional help. There is a network of social workers who specialize in this phenomenon. There are also a few workbooks that can walk the hoarder through making changes in small steps, a process best done with on-site assistance of someone with great patience, which usually means not a family member. Read More - Creating an inclusive environment supports Friends’ Testimony of Equality and enriches the spiritual community by allowing us to experience the rich and beautiful diversity of humankind. How can a faith community create an environment where everyone fits, all are welcomed warmly, and each person’s needs are considered? Read More - Though we most often associate bereavement with death of a loved one, it is important to acknowledge that grieving occurs with other losses or changes that occur in our lives—a changed relationship, lost job, physical challenges, or illness. Understanding the bereavement process and moving through grief allows you to move to a place of acceptance, which will help you to make the most of your life under changed circumstances. Read More - Our lives intertwine like tree roots beneath the ground, together holding the soil and feeding our individual selves. Under the skin of our separate existence is a skeleton that holds us in place. Without the roots, the ground below us crumbles away. Without the skeleton, we are perhaps able to live but unable to get anywhere.
How can we weave the will for independence with the inherent need for interdependence in caring for one another? Can we shed the ingrained need for independence in our self-image? Read More - Often Meetings are shy about contacting Friends and attenders who might be in need of some sort of support. Meeting members say, “I don’t want to intrude”, or, “They’ll call us if they need something”, or, “We don’t do that.”
Actually, we should reach out, as we did historically, and, if not us, who then? Read More - “Temporarily able-bodied” is the term used by Nancy Eiesland, in her book The Disabled God, to refer to people who are not living with disabilities. In fact, at least half of us will experience some form of disability during our lifetime, either short term or lasting. As our population lives longer, being disabled will likely be inevitable for even the healthiest among us. Read More