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Dignity

Today’s Reflection

Voices of the Adult Child

WHEN IT COMES to my aging parent,
I find it difficult to straddle the line between her need for
independence and her need for assistance.
How can I be supportive of her desire to be on her own without
neglecting her safety and dignity?
There are times when she doesn’t notice spills and odors,
when I must protect her from herself,
when I overrule what she wants for her own best interest.
O Lord, I confess that I get frustrated and treat her like a child.
Forgive me.
I feel the tension between preserving her self-esteem and
maintaining my sanity.
My heart breaks for the once independent woman who is losing
her abilities.
She cannot always see what I see or hear what I hear.
But in my efforts to help her, I am not always mindful of her
privacy and dignity.
Help me to be sensitive to her situation—to her fear, her
embarrassment.
May I offer her dignity as best I can, knowing that growing older is
not easy.

—Missy Buchanan
Voices of Aging: Adult Children and Aging Parents Talk with God

From page 48 of Voices of Aging: Adult Children and Aging Parents Talk with God by Missy Buchanan. Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Think of a few examples of how an older person’s dignity can be protected as he or she ages. How can fulfilling God’s commandment to love one another change the dynamics in your relationship with people of other generations?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
—John 13:34-35, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Dear Lord, Give me eyes to see beyond the stresses of my current situation.

Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something more

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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling May 26, 2019, 2:39 am

    Dad needs oxygen again and last night cannot rest well.

    Praying that God will give doc and nurses wisdom in treating him and able to find out the root of his illness.

    Thank you for your prayers!

    Blessings!

    To love one another, we need to accept and forgive one another again and again.

    We can protect an older person’s dignity by letting him/her try to do something on his/her own. Only when he/she cannot do it then we help or do it for him/her. Giving them the space to do what they enjoy is also important and even making decisions if they can still think clearly. Consulting them is also important with regards to their wishes especially with regards to their funeral arrangements.

  • Jill May 26, 2019, 6:09 am

    I feel like I am walking a very fine line (not well at times) as I try to assist dad with his grief right now. I try to keep my feelings and needs separate from his, and try to listen well to his hurt. I know what brings me comfort, but try to be aware this same thing might entirely miss the mark when it comes to his needs. This learning on the fly stuff is tricky.
    Julie, in the midst of all of this uncomfortable uncertainty (is there any other kind…), I pray God will reassure you, as only He can. May your roots grow deeper in Him in these circumstances.
    Thinking of Connie and her hummers as a bird just came to my window bird feeder. He was in and out, before I could even call Roger to the window. Roger is wildly entertained by the birds at this window. He crouches and bursts through the blinds and bounds into the window. I don’t know if cats can get concussions – but he rams his head into the window countless times. Doesn’t dissuade him though. He is currently asleep on the back of the couch.
    Dad and I are playing golf today after church…if we can dodge the rain drops.

  • Connie May 26, 2019, 1:01 pm

    We can try to be gentle and kind and realize it is the same person, but with limitations.
    Hope Roger is not a “Concussion Cat”. He sounds pretty tough. We made our Tina a place on the dresser where she could look out the window to her heart’s content. She also liked the kitchen table with its kitchen window, but I discouraged that. I just love cats.
    Thankful for:
    A break in the rain and sunny for our trip to the cemeteries.
    Planted some petunias for the front porch. No sign of my Forget-me-nots. There were only a few.

    Lord, please help Mary’s Dad with his breathing.
    Please help Jill’s Dad on this Memorial Day Weekend. Amen

  • Marcy May 26, 2019, 11:47 pm

    I will update you, my UR Reflections siblings and friends, on the latest news after my May 1st hospitalization and following rehabilitation, after which I came home on May 16th. Last week, I had pulmonary rehabilitation three days, and four doctor appointments. Just wanted to have these done prior to explanation. I miss commenting daily and it is still a goal, but must acquire a laptop, as my fingers are in pretty bad shape when using this cell phone. I have been reading and praying for you all each day, and thank you for your prayers.

    When I was working in memory care, I always treated everyone with respect and dignity. While working for my friend, the man who had Alzheimers, we did the best we could to sit up with him night and day and calm his fears and the hallucinations. Over the course of my four years with him, I never ceased to be amazed by him, even in the most trying times. My friend went Home to be with God and join his wife and siblings on April 3, 2019. I learned much from him and will miss him and cherish the time I had with him. I’ve new friends from the last rehabilitation facility I was in and have visited the last two Sundays after church.

    Here is a prayer titled, “For a Day Full of Joy,” author unknown:

    O Father God in heaven: What a great day! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this and every day when I have woken up, with my heart beating and my mind able to read and think.

    Whatever physical limitations I may have, whatever aches and pains or illnesses I have this day, they can never diminish the greatness of life itself and the great world in which I have found myself. For I know, I did not earn the millions of little blessings that a human life requires: every cell, every strand of DNA, every bone and every muscle in my body is a gift. I did not make them, nor the air or water or sunshine that keeps them alive.

    By the power of your Holy Spirit, fill my heart with joy for all that I have been given. Help me to shoulder the burdens of my life with strength and courage, finding my solace in your promise of eternal life. I look forward in absolute faith to the glorious new body that all of Christ’s children have been promised; but I pray to enjoy this not-so-glorious body, to see all of its wonders and remember that, being a gift, I am in no position to complain about its imperfections. Let me enjoy my life while I have it, great Lord. Let me celebrate all the little things I take for granted.

    Bless also all the other people of this earth, O Lord, that they may be filled with the joy of life, and especially know that life eternal, which can come only from your Son, Jesus Christ.

    Amen.

    I am praying for you all and am still ever so grateful that God brought me here to gather together and pray for one another.

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE! Sending Love to you all, always!

  • robert moeller May 27, 2019, 4:38 am

    So grateful to read today’s posts and have insight into the well being of each of you and your loved ones. You are all precious in God’s sight. Prayers for Mary and her Dad, Connie and visits to the cemetery, Jill and her Dad, Julie and Megan, and Marcy’s well being.

    Thankfully, I think the health insurance problem Anneliese was having will soon be resolved. Messages received and sent give me that hope.

    Still waiting for the VA condo appraisal. Learned that it can often take 10
    days. It has only been 5 business days. Long weekends stretch things out.

    Delighted to learn in church yesterday that the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church is committed to inclusion. Still a hard path to take on how this will all work out, but I have some sense of relief.

    Memorial Day is not as tough for me as it probably is for many. To the best of my knowledge I have no family or friends who died in the military or in wars. My cousin was wounded in Vietnam and got malaria there. Am very thankful that my time in the military was peaceful. I came close to going to Vietnam and the Persian Gulf, but have not seen combat. I wonder if I would have survived. God only knows.

    God’s peace, mercy, grace, and love to you all. Thank You, Lord.

    Thankfully

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