By Jim Stinson, Director of Spiritual Life for United Methodist Homes
By, Reverend Jim Stinson, Director of Spiritual Life for United Methodist Homes
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By Reverend Jim Stinson, Director of Spiritual Life for United Methodist Homes The obvious thing to write about is spring! At least that was my thought when I sat down to write this blog.
Written by Reverend Jim Stinson, Director of Spiritual Life for United Methodist Homes and Consultant on Older Adult Ministry “My Days Are Numbered” “How did the visit to the doctor go today?” “Nothing is different that the last time, which means I’m still dying. I might not go back for my next appointment. What’s the use, my days are numbered anyway.” A discussion followed about the results of making that decision. If he was seeing the doctor, would the doctor still prescribe the medicine that was keeping him comfortable? Might something other than his current diagnosis pop up that the doctor might easily treat? And on it went! The conversation ended with an observation and a reference to scripture.
By Jim Stinson, Director of Spiritual Life
By Jim Stinson, Director of Spiritual Life for UMH
By: Reverend Jim Stinson, Director of Spiritual Life for United Methodist Homes A Familiar Story I’ve made more friends here now than I have in years. My world was shrinking as I aged. Friends and family members were moving to be near family members.
A Blog by Jim Stinson, Director of Spiritual Life for United Methodist Homes “Do you Remember when, Grandma…?” As my family was waiting for Thanksgiving dinner to be ready they were doing what most families do at holiday time. They were reminiscing. Since “Grandma” always lived with us she was a source of many memories, especially as she grew older and had ever-greater senility. No one was ever sure what she would say or when she would say it.
Caring for a Loved One with Depression By: Jim Stinson, Director of Spiritual Life for United Methodist Homes The Reality of Aging In her mid-eighties, not given to morose thoughts and always life affirming, my mother startled me one day with her comment. She said, “I know more people up there than I do down here.” She gestured toward the sky as she said “up there” and toward the ground as she said “down here” making sure I got the point she wanted to make. Now while I could argue with her cosmology about the location of heaven, I could not argue with her observation. The fact was she had outlived most of her family of origin; and she had outlived most of her friends. Indeed her life had changed dramatically over the previous decade. Her friends were dying with increasing frequency, as were her children and their spouses. She was speaking to a reality of aging. If we live long enough we inevitably watch many of our loved ones and friends die. “Angry Old Ladies” and “Cranky Old Men” This fact can, and often does lead to depression, an often overlooked and under diagnosed illness, among the aging. When it is overlooked and under diagnosed we are often confronted with older adults who exhibit behaviors we would recognize more readily in younger people. We meet “angry old ladies,” “cranky old men,” older adults who “just sit home and do nothing,” mothers and fathers who “do nothing to help themselves,” and so on. When we deal with these people we discover how difficult it is to care for them. In fact we often tell ourselves “there is no talking to them, they just don’t want to be different,” and other self-protecting reasons not to try.
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And The Mountains Echoed is a fascinating and disturbing novel by Khalem Hosseni, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. In heart wrenching detail, he tells the story of a family from Afghanistan over a sixty-year period, each one of who continue to be affected by decisions made in earlier generations. It is a sometimes-grim reminder that, while we are free to alter our responses to the events of our lives, thus changing ourselves in some real way, we are always to some extent the product of our past.
“May You Live to Be 120!” Written by Guest Blogger, Jim Stinson, Director of Spiritual Life (United Methodist Homes) “May you live to be 120!” This traditional Jewish birthday blessing comes from the book of Genesis (6:3). The Lord said, ‘My spirit shall not abide in mortals forever, for they are flesh; their days shall be one hundred and twenty years.’ There was a time when this wish was at best a metaphor and, at worst, trite and meaningless. The likelihood of living that long is still not reality for most of us, but it is increasingly more within the realm of possibility. We now have centenarians as an ever-growing segment of our population. Is this a good thing? Is it a bad thing? Would you want to live that long?