- For individuals facing long-term health challenges and their loved ones, choosing residential health care can be one of the life’s most difficult decisions. The loss and emotions felt when one faces letting go of independence and a long time home may be complicated by the stigma associated with nursing homes or other care environments. Many people are not sure where to begin in the search for long term care. 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 - 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 - If you are 18 and over and wish to have a say about what may happen to you if you become unable to speak for yourself, you need Advance Directives. Advance Directives include a Health Care Proxy, Living Will, Power of Attorney, and a will. Towards the end of life, one needs a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR), and some states may have other forms as well. Read More - Quaker Spirituality gives us a tool for decision making in our process of Clearness. In a Clearness Committee, we wait in community for divine guidance surrounding the question or decision before us. An example of a discernment process in health care is Slow Medicine. Slow Medicine allows one to make decisions based in what is meaningful to a person, what long-term outcomes may be, how one wants to live until the end. Read More - Age itself does not determine one’s ability to drive safely. Older drivers are more likely to self– regulate than other age groups, for example limiting their own driving to daytime or local streets, and are statistically more cautious . However, older adults are also at higher risk for physical conditions that impede one’s ability to drive safely, and are more likely to be taking prescription drugs that can have a negative effect on driving skills. Giving up driving may be necessary, but it is often understandably difficult for people to take this step. Read More - We know that despite any number of challenges, our elders are precious. How can we come to hold our own aging in the light that we view those who came before us? 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 - 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 - We are on this life journey together. Any of us, at any time may find ourselves relying on others. In fact, we truly cannot exist without one another, regardless of our strength. Yet it is usually hard for us to accept that we need help, especially when it is likely that our need for care will increase as time goes by. Or, we may find ourselves caring for a friend or family member. We want to be supportive but may not know how, or we are afraid of being overly intrusive. 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