Why does the spiritual formation with the elderly even matter?
Older Adults: population rapidly increasing living longer and healthier special privileges and responsibilities
“…we cannot really understand any stage of our life journey unless we can penetrate the mystery of its final stage.” Kathleen Fischer
Truth or Myth? Aging is similar for all older adults.
Truth: Aging is an individual experience. Aging is a very natural process. Genetics, nutrition, stress, exercise, health care and lifestyle all influence the aging process.
Personal diversity most apparent during older adulthood “As we grow older we become more ourselves, more unique.” Kathleen Fischer
Truth or Myth? It is important for older adults to separate their spiritual life and needs from the realities and challenges of getting old.
Truth: Spiritual life and growth does NOT occur in isolation from all aspects of life. Spirituality is NOT just one compartment of life but the deepest dimension of all of life.
To be spiritual is not just to pray and meditate but also to be involved in the struggles of marriage, work, and raising children; in social responsibility and in the effort to make a just and peaceful world. T. Moore
Dr. Robert Mulholland writes: Human life is by its nature spiritual formation. Every event of life is an experience of spiritual formation. Spiritual formation is the primal reality of human existence.
Truth or Myth? Aging is a result of sin, and therefore part of the curse rather than a blessing from God.
Truth… Life is God-breathed until the very end. Getting old does not diminish the image of God. The aged belong in community as much as the young. Elders have God-ordained calls.
Truth or Myth? Aging is about - decline dependency disability disease depression
Truth… Aging is no accident. Aging is not so much about the loss of capacity as it is about the loss of illusion. James Hillman
Truth… Understanding the relationship between the spiritual life and aging, helps us find ways to turn our losses into gains. Kathleen Fischer
Aging is NOT a process of decline it is a process of becoming continuing to meet life’s challenges growing into a complete human being
Truth or Myth? Old age is not the best season for spiritual growth.
Truth… Growth into the image and likeness of Christ is life-long. The final stage of life is preparation for final union with God.
Truth or Myth? The degree of spiritual maturity in old age directly corresponds to the degree of active involvement in church programs and projects.
Truth… Older adults shift from doing over being to being over doing spiritual growth and life corresponds with this developmental change.
Spiritual Tasks of Older Adulthood Face the reality of age and death Review and reflect on one’s life Rediscover God in your journey Overcoming ego Live in the present
Spiritual Formation - Elderly Integration and acceptance… Remembering and Life Review Becoming our teachers - Listening Solidarity via acceptance of our aging Undivided presence of others Intergenerational contact