Pastoral Care: The Cross of Old Age
Growing older at times becomes a heartache as people lose abilities they once had. No longer are certain hobbies or physical activities available to the aging body. Also in many cases, unresolved middle age issues can still haunt the elderly. Finding God and understanding one’s role as an elder is key. Growing old with dignity is defintely a task that is difficult but possible with God. Pastoral Care can help the elderly accept their final cross before death.
Michael Taylor in his article “Ageing Gracefully Together-Pastoral Care of Older People” speaks about his own experiences with his parents and general ideas on aging an from a spiritual persepctive. (Article found at SouthernCrossCare.)
When asked about pastoral care, I am reminded of St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, when he prayed that through the Spirit their “inner self” would grow strong. (Eph 3:16) Nurturing the inner or spiritual life of a person broadly explains the pastoral care role. Old age can be a time of spiritual growth when people reflect on their lives, deal with the deeper questions of life and prepare for their death. Being with people as they settle on what is of ultimate meaning to them is such a privileged experience. I hope people feel loved and valued.
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