Hi there. We're on to lesson two on our caring for seniors. And I want to take you this time on a little journey. Looking at what are the stress factors that come up  when we are caring for the elderly, but also what are stress factors for the  elderly themselves. One of the things that the elderly have a really tough time  with is disappointment. Or disgruntlement. And sometimes the elderly get angry.  And one of the problems that arises is, how do we deal with the fact that the  doctor's appointment took too long? You know, we had an appointment for  10am. And it was quarter to 11:00, 45 minutes later, before we even got into the  room. And then we had to wait another 15 minutes before the guy, that was an  hour. And when an elderly person is dealing with that kind of thing, there's times  when they can get very upset, and very angry. And they take it out on the people who are around them. So if you and I are caring for some senior citizen, and we  say, you know, I'll take you to that doctor's appointment, we're always hoping  that the doctor's appointment is going to go well. Because if it doesn't, we could  run into the fact of a angry person in the car with us on the way home. Or maybe you're one of the kids in and you're trying to help your mom or dad or you go to  their house and you mow the lawn and they get so angry because you did not  mow the grass properly. You didn't mow it the way dad would. And it just gets to  be very frustrating for people when they're trying to help others. They're trying to help the senior citizen. But the senior citizen doesn't seem to appreciate it one  bit. And so they get angry, and they take that out. And that's a big stress factor.  For those who care about seniors, it's going to be true in our lives as we minister to seniors, but it's also going to be true in the lives of those who are caring for  the seniors. And even amongst the seniors. amongst themselves, it's going to be a difficult situation, to deal with anger and grumpiness. And sometimes that's  just the way it is. So when we care for seniors, we need to be aware of some  facts about that person, not just some theories of aging, we read in a magazine,  we need to know that person. It's easy enough to read some stuff online, read  some things in a magazine, you know, you subscribe to the AARP thing and you  think you're gonna learn all about aging. And no, that's not really a good way to  find things. And so today, we're going to look at some stress factors and caring  for seniors that will affect how we relate to seniors, and how we help those who  are caregivers for those seniors. Come on. Let's go for a journey. The ideas I'm  going to be sharing with you they're prompted by a couple of articles. Yeah, I just said let's not go to the internet and read some but these are prompted by a  couple of articles on the website, agingcare.com. At that website, you'll find  many useful articles which can help clarify the issues we run into. I know for  myself as I was a pastor, and caring for many of the elderly, I served churches  that had a significant elderly population amongst them. In one church, I served  for four years and in that time, I buried nearly 50 people so it was like one  person a month was dying. That was just an indicator of how many elderly there  were in that church and, and so we were always dealing with people who are 

getting ready to die. Or people who had just lost a spouse or people who knew  that there was a loss in their life because their parents had passed away. We  were dealing with things about funerals, we'll deal with funerals in another  another lecture too. But the the fact is that when, when we deal with seniors,  there are so many things to care about. And I want us to be caring, I want us to  try to be those who care about others in a very special way, with the sort of  feeling that God has given us this calling. I thought I'd add this picture in here.  How are the elderly depicted in our culture? Now, this may vary around the  world as you, our students, come from many different cultures. But how does  your culture depict the elderly, this sign? It says, you know, be careful, slow,  there's elderly people, what do they have the people who are bent over and  walking with a cane. And each culture has a way of thinking about the elderly.  And this sign with a caution sign is talking about people who may live in the  area, it's probably found at on a street, where there's a senior citizens complex  where they live in assisted living, perhaps or where they live in independent  living, but they're they're getting on in years. And what do we think of that? How  do we do we think of the elderly as people were just bent over, and who need a  cane to walk or it's just something different. Maybe there's more to seniors than  what this sign depicts. My wife is a person who was an in home caregiver for the elderly and disabled. That meant that she went to people's houses and  interacted with them, she was their friend she was she took them grocery  shopping, she took them on little outings, they would go get coffee together. One delightful, elderly woman that she was with who was nearly blind loved to play  pool with her on the pool table in her apartment facility. And my wife just really  enjoyed this interaction that she had with these elderly people and he and the  disabled. But there were always some funny things that would that would take  place. One of them, for example, was there was this individual, he was an  elderly man who had some very strong thoughts about what he wanted in life  and how he wanted to experience life and what he thought he was capable of  doing. Now, his three daughters, he called them the committee. I his three  daughters knew that he really wasn't able to stay at home by himself anymore.  So they arranged for him to be moved one day to an assisted living facility, they  felt that they had convinced him of the necessity of this and that he had agreed  that it was going to be something that would happen, and that it would take  place on such and such a day and so on. And the moving truck showed up and  they they took his furniture, and they brought it to his assisted living apartment.  So that didn't it was just like home except it was well, it was in this assisted living quarters that he had now. Two days later, the moving truck was there again, he  had called the movers and said, I want to go back home. And so they came and  they moved him back home. Now, that was not exactly what the committee was  expecting to have happen. But it's one of those things that that to me, provided  so much humor, because the elderly person knows what, what they want. But 

sometimes it's just not possible. And so you have these conflicting experiences,  where the daughters really wanted him in a place where he would be cared for.  And he wanted to be in a place by himself where yeah, he had people come in,  

like my wife to help him with daily chores and so on. But he didn't want to be  stuck in a place where all the old People lived. Now sometimes. On the other  hand, there are difficult people. The fact is that all of us as we grow older, find  our options becoming more and more limited. When we think about what do we  have any say so over anymore, more and more, our options are dictated by  others. And we're left with well do you want yellow jello or green jello for for  lunch. And that's, that's just very difficult for some people put up with and so they become difficult. And so they're the difficult people. But there's also so so many  senior citizens who are just beautiful people. They have aides, they've, they've  gotten, perhaps they've gotten some dementia. But their lives are something  beautiful. And so as we interact with them, we discover some wonderful things  about their lives and wonderful things about what God has done with him. both  difficult and beautiful people are very important when we're trying to minister to  the elderly. Yeah, we have issues with health. We're going to be focusing on that in another lecture, in terms of all that, the health issues that happen and we're  going to be trying to take a good look at that. But as the picture depicts, there's  there. There's a lot of elderly people who end up lying in a sick bed. And  discussions amongst the elderly seem to always turn to what ails and I say us  because I've got several things that I can describe to people is, oh, man, I got  this thing. And I got that, and I got the next thing. And fear can come to be a part of our lives when we're dealing with our health. Fear of pain, fear of the outcome of medical procedures is on one's mind. We don't want to go there. We don't  want to have that poking that prodding, that drawing of blood. And yet, it's  something we need to do in order that others can be supportive to our health.  And so when you are ministering to senior citizens, you need to keep in mind  that their health is always on their mind. And it may be the source of some real  tension between them, their spouse, their children, their grandkids, it can always be a problem. Now there's some common issues that caregivers can run into,  when when you and I are dealing with the elderly. One of the things that you run  into chronic complaining. I know I'm even kind of good at that, where I go, man,  my back is hurting again. And and my my knees hurt and my hips hurt and oh  my I've got arthritis in my fingers and, and it hurts like crazy sometimes. And that chronic complaining, will will sometimes cause those of us who are looking to  minister to seniors to tell ourselves, I don't think this guy wants me around here.  Really they do. They really do. But they don't know how to how to get past the  pain. Sometimes there's mood swings and the wild mood swing among the  elderly. And what you will discover is it kind of depends on what day you're there or even which hour of the day that you're there. When you're there to care about them and they can be joyful and happy in the morning in the afternoon being just

very grumpy. There are there's some very real things like that that happen. Just  as a common ordinary thing of aging. Mood swings are issues that that  somebody who cares for senior citizens is going to run into and there's  medication side effects. Sometimes the side effects are debilitating. And that's  difficult for us as those who try to minister to people to try to deal with how, how  do we encourage them to take their medication when we realize that, that  sometimes this medication is giving them some side effects that are really less  than ideal. And yet it's better than the disease. It's just hard to know. And there's  pain. There's boredom. You know, I can't, I can't go outside anymore. We really  experienced boredom amongst senior citizens during this time of COVID. And  with all the lockdown with COVID. Amongst the elderly, particularly, there's just  nothing to do. They look at themselves. And they said, Well, what am I going to  do, I can't, I can't go have coffee with my friends, I can't, I can't go down, down  to the the park and sit with my friend at a table and just talk, and so on. And so  boredom gets to be something that those of us who care for seniors will run into. And, and it's something that as we minister to seniors, we can help to alleviate  that boredom. Because God intends for us to have interesting lives. And then  another common issue that caregivers run into is dementia, or it's, it's  companion, Alzheimer's, and those, those two things are also very difficult when  you're trying to interact with someone and and they ask you the same question  time after time after time, and don't seem to realize that you've just been talking  about various things. When we're involved with ministry to seniors, we will  inevitably have opportunity to interact with their caregivers. And that could be  family, it may be a person from an agency. It could be people who work in the  assisted living residences, people who work in nursing homes, and we can be  the presence of Jesus for all of them, that is, ministry also to seniors. Because  all of these people need this, the people around them, the caregivers, that that  will help them and people that care about them, they need these, these  individuals who will, who will give them support. And it's important for us then to  give those people support. It's this whole web of, of social interaction where  when everyone has someone to talk to and everyone has someone supporting  them, we all are going to do better. And so remember that, that you'll have that  opportunity to interact with their caregivers and, and feel good about it. It's it's an important aspect of what you have the opportunity to do. And then there's the  grandkids. They're so precious to the grandparents and and so it's important, I  think for us as Miss doing ministry, seniors to encourage intergenerational  contact, sometimes they're the person's own grandchildren do not live nearby.  And so they only see them once in a great while. But then it would be good for  us to arrange ways of having younger kids go to nursing home to go to visit  elderly people and so on. When I was actively working in ministry, and I had four little girls as we were growing up, I often would take one of them along when I  went to visit the elderly and it was the most delightful situation. The the elderly 

person just couldn't get over the fact that this little kid would come and be  present in their house with them. It was a very precious thing. encourage that.  Encourage people to interact with each other. As caregivers to seniors and their  caregivers, in turn were called by God show his compassion on his children.  That's that's what we're called to do. And so when God wants to show His  compassion on his children, it isn't just little kids. His compassion is on his little  child who's 90 years old. God's compassion reaches out his, the his arms and  surrounds people who are sitting by the window just looking down the road  hoping that their kids are going to come to visit this week. God wants us to show His compassion also, even to the happy elderly, to the people who are really  enjoying life and, and we can we can walk with them in this and enjoy this time  with them. It's a very, very wonderful thing to have intergenerational contact. It'll  help make the elderly, the happy, elderly. And yes, God's compassion wants to  be shown through us, even to the grumpy elderly. That's our privilege of ministry. That's our opportunity for ministry. That's how we can make sure that our lives  show that God cares for everyone. God's love is channeled through us, so that  our very presence. And this was something I had to learn. And it was very  difficult for me to learn because I found it hard to believe that I could be this. But  our very presence provides a stream of living water for all of God's people. This  was not something I thought could be true of me when I first was in ministry, I  struggled with the idea of how do I show God's love through my presence  through through encouraging others to be present with with all of God's people.  But when I finally realized what was going on, I realized that just being around  people and being there with them, and for them, and available to them, provides a stream of living water for all God's people. The little kids do the most elderly.  And it's that opportunity for service and for ministry that I encourage you to go  for. It's great. Go for it. Well, that's all for today. We'll see you next time.

Last modified: Sunday, November 19, 2023, 4:46 PM