Today, I want to think with you just a little bit about moving as a senior citizen,  because when you're a senior minister, you will often run into questions from  people as to what they should be doing in terms of the residents, should they  

stay where they are? Should they move? Should they go live with their children? Should they not go live with their children? Should they do this, that or the next  thing should there be various ways of meeting their communal needs, without  having to go to a specific senior living facility what, what really needs to  happen? And those questions are very real. And you will have opportunity to, to  walk through many of these decisions with people to whom you minister. And  actually, it's a very difficult decision that may need to be made as to whether to  move senior housing. When my parents were no longer able to stay home, by  themselves with some help that came in each day, for an hour or two, they  moved to a nursing facility within the community hospital in their very small  town. And at that time, the community hospital was, was operating a nursing  home as well on one wing that that had been specifically built for that. It  probably was a nursing home with 20 beds or something like that. And, and it  was a very nice place. It was expensive, though. And so when, when deciding  whether to move there, it's always hard to know, especially when their financial  issues have come up. And so this decision weighs heavily on on so many  people who are not only the senior citizen themselves, but the people who are  around them. And they may be turning to you then as the senior minister, who is  who has shown some grace and some availability so that they can ask you what what do you think we should do? And then the the person themselves are  asking, Well, do I have to leave my forever home? Now I'm asking you about  forever home, because I think that's an awful term that has come into common  parlance. My wife and I were going to be doing a little work on our house and,  and we went to a place that that sells kitchens and baths and we just wanted to  get some idea of what what it would cost How do you go about doing it even we  didn't even have any idea how you go about doing it. And the nice young gal  looks at us and smiles and says well. Is this going to be your forever home. And  I thought to myself, my forever home. I haven't heard that term before. But that's just an awful idea that this could be my forever home. I don't want this to be my  forever home. And yet, that is what has come into common parlance. And so  people have moved into this house where they're living and they have thought  that it was going to be there for forever home. And it's it's not turning out that  way because they need now to move to get more care. Now, I want to read you  something that was written on January 1, 2020. It said expect the winds of  change to blow harder than ever through the senior housing industry. In 2020.  Of course, they had no idea COVID was coming and then went on with each  passing year. The wave of baby boomer demand draws nearer attracting more  capital and greater diversity of talent to senior housing. And then came COVID  19. And suddenly people did not want to go live in senior housing. Matter of fact,

all across the United States, there were issues with senior housing being a  place where actively infected COVID patients were sent in and it would infect  the entire living facility. And it was it was a controversial thing and it was a  terrible thing. There were so many people who died. It seems as a result of  those decisions. But January 1 in 2020. No one would have expected that the  Coronavirus was going to cause particularly questions about senior living  situations that would be raised so strongly and and so pointedly and poignantly  throughout the course of 2020. So with the arrival of the Coronavirus pandemic,  the issue surrounding moving to a senior housing has been dramatically altered  number one, now, do I really want to go there? Number two, if I'm going to stay  home, how do I get care that I need and the care that that is going to come? And if I go to a senior living place, and another pandemic comes along? Do I want to  be living in a place my family cannot visit me? Those are just very difficult  questions a friend of mine was he's, I guess he would be in his early 70s had  contracted COVID In was hospitalized. And for the last four weeks of his life, no  one could visit him he was under quarantine in the hospital room where he was.  And not even his wife could visit him and he died there by himself. And I just feel so bad about that situation. And when people think about the senior living  situations do they really want to move in and perhaps end up in a situation  where they will not have access to their family quite the way that they would like  to have. There's a friend of mine who lives in an assisted living senior housing  complex. And I believe I've mentioned him before, but anyway, prior to the  pandemic, he would have lots of time to interact with five others overlaps, there  was six, six seats around the table. And he and his five buddies, they just very  much enjoyed their lunchtime together and they enjoyed being able to be  together. And he would rat readily tell of all their fun conversations. But with  COVID he was placed under quarantine in his room, even though he didn't have it. And so it was a very challenging time and still challenging time for him. He  now can have one visitor come to see him who will come to his room.  Otherwise, you can't. And it's a it's a difficult situation because this the senior  living facility wants to protect him and all the rest of the residents. And yet at the  same time, it seems that while protecting them, they're making their life very  unhappy and making it lonely. And it's just a very hard way to live when you  when you have to stay in your one small, small room. That's all you got  someone who ministered to seniors, you'll have an opportunity to answer some  of these questions that the elderly might have about moving to a senior living  community. And you can give some objective answers but always shy away from saying ought or must know you must listen to your children because they want  to do it. Or you ought to move there. No, we have to as ministers just come  alongside and be supportive. But we should not be the ones who are making  that decision. It's not it's not healthy for the senior minister to take control of  somebody's life that way. They they need to be able to have that autonomy yet 

that responsibility. Otherwise, it becomes even more like it's a very lonely  situation because you know, who can they talk to? This person who cares about  me says I ought to do this or I have to do that and and it's not. It's just not very  easy. So how does the senior make the decision? Is it a family? Is it the family  that decides Is it the physician that decides? It gets to be a very challenging  situation sticky is really sticky. And in all the times I have seen these things  going on. There are so many questions that come to bear, particularly ones that  have to do with finances. And as we, as we saw earlier, the financial difficulties  are common for those who are senior citizens. They're just difficult because they don't have the money to pay. And if they're going to an assisted living style  facility. That's normally a self pay, so that they have to pay this by themselves.  And if they have, let's say, $25,000, and it costs $3,000 a month, that means  they've got eight months and they run out of money. And then they can't be in  the assisted living facility anymore because they don't work with Medicaid. So  there's, there's some very difficult questions about that. Another issue, where is  the facility located? There's, there's any number of reasons why people don't  want to have have a long commute to go see Mom and Dad. That then and so  where where is this located? How can they? And how was the assistant  provided? And what sort of assistance is there? There's an elderly couple I  know, now who's whose children looked and looked, until they found a place that was really ideal for mom and dad, mom, dad are now in their mid 90s. They've  been married over 75 years, it's just an astounding thing. And the place they live is just a very nice place. And the food's great, at least, you know, looks great to  me when they're when they're eating. They say yes, good. Hands, okay. But for  some places, the flute or the foods is blah, even though the people in the  kitchen are trying very, very diligently to produce good food for everyone, when  they have to feed so many people and do it within a very constrained budget. It's difficult to make great food at that point. Another question then that seniors have with choosing a residence is am I safe here is when when we become very  vulnerable as we get older, the question of safety, it may be irrational, but it's  real. It may be that we're thinking oh, man, you know, I'm I'm afraid. And the  more the senior minister tries to poke around that, that issue and where did that  fear come from? They realized that that it came from the people watching some  TV show at one time, about how how poorly people were treated at such an  such a senior care facility. And they asked themselves, am I safe in this place?  Where I am? And then who's the staff? You know, can I trust them? I mean, they they're going to be they're going to be people who who handle all my  medications are going to be people who, who are making sure I get something  to eat and so on. Can I trust them? These are these are very real questions. And and people want to be sure of what the answer is before they leap into moving  into a place where they they think maybe it's not going to be so good.  Something that's challenging for all who are growing elderly, can I still drive my 

car? As a senior minister that that question might be asked of you when, when  my dad was getting older, and he had and he and my mother had moved into  the nursing facility, he still wanted to be able to have his car. Now we, as his kids knew that there had been some some years already knew that. My mom and my dad always drove together. And sometimes it seemed like my mom was can be  a backseat driver because there's a stop sign. Hey, oh, there we have look out  for that. And the thing was, as we know, as we scratch beneath the surface a  little bit what we found was that while there were many times my dad couldn't  see the stop signs that clearly anymore. And so it was time to have him no  longer be driving. And I was living some distance away. It's a time I went to visit  and we got talking about driving and, and he says, ya know, your brother's sold  my car. Thanks. Yeah. Yeah, I think that was a good idea. I just think that was a  good move. I don't think you need to drive anymore. You too? He goes to me. As if no, no, you're saying I gotta give up driving too? Is there no one on my side.  And the thing was that he was he was not in any condition to be driving car  anymore. And so it was, it was just as well to part with the vehicle. And and that  way, he wouldn't keep asking to have someone bring him the car so he could go for a ride by himself. In our data consistently shows the driving gets riskier with  age. There's a new the it says our 2015 driving study, I'm not even sure which  insurance company to pick this up from. But they estimated about 14 million  Americans had been involved in a car crash caused by an elderly driver the  previous year. So in 2014, about 14 million Americans had been involved in a  car crash caused by an elderly driver kind of kind of brings me up to the Hoo,  boy, that's something and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  report. added that some 712 older adult drivers are injured, and 19 are killed in  auto accidents in the United States each day. 712 older adult drivers are injured  and 19 are killed in auto accidents in the United States each day, it's risky for  older people to keep driving that car. And it's better if they don't, and you're  going to be asked about that. And, and it's a very tickly subject, but it's  something that needs to be addressed. Because here's one thing, driving can  help older adults stay mobile, give them a feeling of independence and and they can be connected to their loved ones or community they can get out and get  going. Driving helps to give a sense of control over one's everyday life because  then then you can do as you so desire, and driving reassures a senior that their  abilities are still good enough I'm still good enough to be able to drive around  and so grandma gets behind the wheel and away she goes even though she  may no longer be competent for driving in in the condition that she is at this  point in her life another aspect of moving is the relationship the senior has with  his or her children some elderly once they move to assisted living or nursing  facility will rarely see their kids do to many factors perhaps there was a big fight  over having to go to the nursing home or to the assisted living facility the senior  residence maybe it's distance maybe there's tension with the in-laws so that you

know when when my daughters went to visit my wife and I maybe the in laws  wouldn't be all that crazy about it. Maybe we both ended the in laws in one way  or another. And so then then that limits how often somebody can go see see  their in laws, their their parents anymore. And sometimes the kids just get to the  point and they say I just can't do this anymore. Because things have gotten very, very stressful. With mom or with Dad As a senior minister, one has to come to a  resolution in one's own heart what it means to honor one's father and mother,  one of the 10 commandments, it's, it's a very significant issue that needs to be  clarified in your mind, because you're going to be asked about that. And the  question isn't going to necessarily go, Well, what do you think it means to honor  your father and your mother? it's gonna, it's going to come up in some different  ways. The issue is going to be approached from the side more often. Do you  think? Do you think I have to do this and that for Mom, do you think I should do  this for my dad? But what do you think? So what does that look like this  honoring your father and your mother? What does it? What does that entail?  Does it mean I have to pay for everything for them? What if I don't have enough  money to live on anymore? And and what do we do? Some years ago, I had a  good friend who was a funeral director. And he was talking about how funeral  practices had changed so much over over the decades that he'd been involved  in his occupation. And he said you, you know, I can't believe it. But not long ago. I had a call from somebody can you go to to pick up mom's body at the nursing  home? And, and then just just have it buried and send me the bill? Can you?  Can you imagine that? Can you imagine a son calling up a funeral home, go  pick up my mom's body. She died last night, just bury it, send me a bill. And yet,  that's probably more common than we we are aware of. Because oftentimes,  within the church, we don't do that kind of thing. We try to have a community  that remembers and then honors. But in the broader community, there are some  elderly who are living out their last days. And they're all by themselves and their  children are no longer seeking to figure out what it means to honor their father  and their mother, because they've just given up on that whole idea. So as a  senior minister, you and I can help families to care about the elderly parent. But  there were some elderly, who are childless. Who cares for them. I have a close  relative. He and his wife desired children, but it never came about. They don't  have any children to look after them. And when they're seniors who need caring, who's going to do it. That's where senior ministers come in. That's where you  and I can find real ministry with those who don't have anyone that cares for  them. That's that's what a good senior minister can do. For those who are are  actually childless. And there's so much more we could address. There's a whole  list the list the list. But this just gives us a few things to think about. And I hope  this has tweaked your interests as to what you could think about doing as a  senior minister, to assist families and trying to know at what point does the  senior need to move into a into a place of more care. It's a privilege to be a part 

of that. And so please be be aware that you get to have that in in family, but  don't abuse it. Don't abuse it. Instead, make the most of it and find a way To be  the person that that family would say, oh, man, you know, it sure was good to  have so and so here with us when we have make these decisions, because they helped make it so much better. Yeah, that's a good goal. See you next time

Last modified: Friday, January 26, 2024, 2:22 PM