Honor Thy Fathers and Thy Mothers

Posted by Al Hathaway Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Over the years, my ministry has been increasing expanding to the needs of aging seniors and their families. Many years ago with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, I developed a care-giving program for isolated elderly. One of the by-products of a faithful life is God honoring his promise of 70 years or more. As a result, many of our faith communities are populated with active seniors who are well into their 70s and many in their 80s holding positions of responsibility. I marvel at their zest and zeal as they rigorously engage in church and community activities. They are to be applauded for their commitment to endure until the end. On the other hand, I have witnessed families having to cope with their senior love ones experiencing diminishing capacity. Their loved one's ability to remember, to cope, and to be independent rapidly declines without any hope of reversal. Very few families are prepared to handle the emotional and economic byproducts of a caring for a loved one who is an aging senior. Society provides few options for assistance when a family is facing this matter. As a Pastor in an urban church, I'm confronted every day with the gravity of this situation - how to counsel families with aging senior members. The situation changes dramatically when my role as Pastor is superseded by my role as a caregiver for an aging senior. 

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