Physical Health

- 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
- 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
- "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
- 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
- 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
- "I am tremendously content to let one activity after another go, and to wait quietly and happily the opening of the door at the end of the passageway that will let me into my real abiding place." Hannah Whitall Smith, 1903, PYM Faith and Practice, 2002 Hospice is an extremely useful service to a person Read More
- Assistive Devices can help people maintain self care skills and participate in their favorite activities. Communities benefit from diversity when adaptations are made to include people with physical or other disabilities. What are assistive devices and how can they help? 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
- 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