Welcome back! Forgive me for taking so long to blog again but as you all know, life happens! Christmas, flu, pneumonia and travel have all been a part of my absence on this site.
In my last blog I touched on the idea of the elderly being able to stay in their homes longer as their health begins to fail. I also mentioned that this has the potential to decrease loneliness. I would like to expand on this idea because I know it to not be always true.
The wait times for seniors wanting to move into assisted living is now between 2-5 years! Talk about having to plan ahead! In some cases it may even be longer. People who are already living in assisted living are themselves on a long wait list to enter Long Term Care (LTC) facilities.
Why is this you may ask? The answer is that there are just too few LTC beds!
In the ‘olden days’ aging parents were arranged a bedroom in their children’s homes and the family took care of them until they passed to eternity. This still happens today but it is the exception not the rule.
Looking after our parents in this day and age means trying to find them a place to have their health demands and needs be taken care of by professionals and personal aids.
Home care was a great advancement in health care but it too has become overburdened.
The fact is that people are having to stay in their homes longer as their health declines and this puts added stress on busy families.
Should the Church be concerned about this?
We talk about our “church family” as being important to us so how do we help in this major change in society.
I believe God has placed us in community to help us learn how to care for each other and taking time to explore this major health shift in our society is the first step to caring about it.
As I said before, seniors being able to stay in their own homes as long as possible is a healthy solution, but not if they are truly being left alone. Health concerns may have left them isolated and unable to continue socializing. Visits from church family members help to fill those lonely times that busy younger families are unable to fill and enforces that sense of belonging to a bigger family.
Churches need to be very intentional about CARE in order to ensure that they are being faithful to their members. There are many ideas and options that can be explored to assist the good work that churches are doing right now.
Let’s begin to brain storm together.