Reflections on Aging Well

Author, Living with Purpose in a Worn-out Body: Spiritual Encouragement for Older Adults (Upper Room) and Columnist, Aging Well, United Methodist Reporter

Has the United Methodist Church forgotten its old? June 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — missybu @ 7:37 am

I am perplexed… and a little sad, too. For the last couple of weeks, I have asked United Methodists on Twitter and Facebook to be my eyes and ears at annual conferences around the country. Since I cannot be in so many places at one time, I followed the lead of UM pastors and layperson who tweet, using a particular hashtag to identify each annual conference.  It is a great way to track what is happening in real time. Throughout the days, I made numerous posts, reminding them to relay any comments or conversations they heard about “older adults” during annual conference.

By now, most of these twitter friends know that I write a monthly column, Aging Well, for the United Methodist Reporter. They understand my interest. So, I posted… then I waited. To date, the only responses I have received were from those who said the topic never came up. They had an apologetic tone. One person noted that the Older Adult ministry had a table set up, but other than that… nothing.

Now don’t jump the gun. I know how annual conferences work. There are reports and voting, retirement recognitions,  ordination and worship. There is not time for every aspect of ministry to be addressed. But I can not help but wonder. If our annual conferences do not lift up the importance of older adult ministries in a world that is graying quickly, what does it say to the rest of the world? To the leaders of local congregations? To the frail woman who sits in her room and tries to remember the last time her chuch came to visit? 

I wonder.

 

Oprah, aging: Too depressing to talk about? June 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — missybu @ 8:05 am

Recently I read that Oprah doesn’t like to talk about aging because she finds it too depressing.  Let me say up front, I have no idea if that is really Oprah’s opinion or not.  However, I do know that many people would sheepishly agree with that statement.  They prefer NOT to think about the realities of aging. It’s just too hard they say.  So they close their eyes and make a laundry list of excuses.

It got me to thinking about what makes me sad. Easy. People who aren’t willing to think about aging, much less talk about it. I can’t help but wonder if they are the same ones who stay away from visiting elderly people in assisted living centers or nursing homes. They are the grown sons and daughters who rarely call or visit aging loved ones.  Why can’t they put themselves in the shoes of the elderly at least long enough to consider the feelings of the older persons? How must these seniors feel to think that their “predicament” is so distasteful that others don’t want to be around them?  Just sayin’….