Each month we will offer a list of action ideas so you can defend, honor, and celebrate Life in your churches and communities on our Take Action page. This month, we are looking at depression and aging
We often refer to the last stage of life as being our “Golden Years.” It brings to mind images of aging couples enjoying their retirement and time with their grandchildren. But this rosy picture is not always the reality for many aging men and women. They are often grieving for their lost spouse, while also mourning the loss of friends and family members. Children and grandchildren can be too busy with their own lives or too far away to spend much time with them. And physical limitations can inhibit their ability to not only enjoy life but to even accomplish simple tasks. Instead of appearing “golden,” these years can feel dark indeed, marked more by loneliness and depression than contentment.
The Church has a responsibility to care for and encourage aging friends and loved ones and to remind them that their hope exists not on this earth or in their mortal bodies but in Christ and His promises.
- Organize regular visits with elderly members of your parish, especially those who do not have family nearby or who are often home bound.
- Assign a widowed person in your church a young child to pray for, so the widower or widow may be a spiritual mentor to the child and so that their relationship would be a blessing to them both.
- Schedule volunteers to drive home-bound church members to Sunday services or other church events. If you are are organizing church events, make sure to find people willing to be drivers.
- Contact your local retirement home or elder care center to volunteer or to see if the residents would enjoy a concert or performance by members of your church.
Written by AFL Administrator Robin Ferguson