Thank you for sharing Sue Tilman Strother’s story of caregiving for her husband, Joe (Feb. 11). She is but one of an army of family caregivers who directly impact the health and well-being of older adults, often with great personal sacrifice.
As the “silver tsunami” of baby boomers crashes on the shore of their golden years, supporting family caregivers must be included in the ministry model. We forget the caregiver is mostly homebound, too, and needs care just as much, if not more, than the care recipient.
“Churches seek to help ease stress on caregivers” (Feb. 11) aptly spotlighted the need for new church-based approaches to support baby boomers and their aging parents in maintaining independence during later life.
National surveys of older adults consistently indicate they prefer to “age in place” in their own homes as long as possible and to delay a move to assisted living or a long-term care facility until it is functionally necessary.
As the graying of the U.S. population accelerates—10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day—the local church and faith-based organizations can assist a growing aging population at a time when other aging programs have limited resources available.
Shelly Beach, in her book Ambushed by Grace: Help & Hope on the Caregiving Journey, observed, “Caregiving is a gift that comes wrapped with the price tag still dangling, a tag that reads ‘inestimable cost, eternal value.’”
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The innovative caregiving ministries described in Ken Camp’s article represent useful models for other churches to emulate.
J.B. Watson Jr.
For a very long time now, I have been concerned over the state of our country. We have witnessed the ebbing away from standards that have been fundamental to our American society. One of these standards is saluting the U.S. flag with the Pledge of Allegiance.
As students, every morning and at every event, we pledged. It kept us grounded to our American citizenship, individually and plurally.
However, once leaving school, we have few opportunities to reaffirm our allegiance to “the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which is stands.”
At the start of every worship service at Park Temple Baptist Church in Pasadena, we take our pledge to the American flag, and we follow with pledging to the Christian flag and to the Bible.
It is my hope that other churches would do so also. It is an honorable and privileged expression of the American Christian church.