Pilgrims' Friend Society Blog

Updates, comment and stories by Louise Morse, Pilgrims' Friend Society

Living a genuinely fulfilled life

When God created the world He instilled in us a sense of purpose.  So for life to have meaning it has to have purpose.  In the daily business of our lives we don’t give it a thought until there’s a change in our circumstances, such as retirement or physical frailty that prevents us doing much at all. That’s when we begin to question our purpose.  ‘I’m no use to anyone any more,’ many older people tell us. 

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Living a genuinely fulfilled life

When God created the world He instilled in us a sense of purpose.  So for life to have meaning it has to have purpose.  In the daily business of our lives we don’t give it a thought until there’s a change in our circumstances, such as retirement or physical frailty that prevents us doing much at all. That’s when we begin to question our purpose.  ‘I’m no use to anyone any more,’ many older people tell us. 

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Living a genuinely fulfilled life
An extraordinary woman Did you see ITV West’s news clip of Dr Jennifer Bute?  When I saw it I thought, not for the first time, how easy it would be to assume that she doesn’t really have dementia.
Stories that show the way through dementia Yesterday, Dr Jennifer Bute and I were interviewed for a Podcast that’s broadcast from America. (I’ll post the broadcast date when I have it.)This is a Podcast with a difference. It’s based on how stories influence the way people understand various issues in life - in this case, dementia. For instance, do we communicate well with people with dementia, by telling them a story? (It depends on the person and the stage of their dementia.) But we communicate with their care givers and families with stories very well - particularly true stories.
Shattered mobile phone sends a strong message This may look like just a shattered mobile phone. But it's more than that. It's an allegory! It's the phone that 19 year old Luke put together for me months before the accident that killed him last December. He sat at the kitchen table working on it patiently asking questions like, 'do you want Messenger on the front screen?' and showing me how it worked. 'Switch on the security screen before you put it in your bag,' he sighed when I asked why the icons moved all over the place when I put it in my bag. After his death I particularly treasured that phone.
Put some rocket fuel under this agenda! If you watched the interviews on TV with Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt you will have seen their responses to the question about funding social care.  Jeremy Hunt said straight away that he would do it, and that he would merge the NHS and social care.
When management sees staff as humans made in God's own image There's an interesting item in Premier's digital newsletter this morning about a study that looked at what happens  in the workplace when we treat staff  either as 'resources' or beings made in God's image.  (See ref below). The report titled 'Human resources - recognising the personhood of workers in the charity and public sectors', was supported by the Leech Fellowship Committee and Baptist and Anglican churches. 
Words are powerful and we CAN make a difference The Government will make an announcement about social care funding at the earliest opportunity, a minister said in reply to MP Nick Thomas-Symonds' question. What would he say to the two sisters caring for their dying father who were struggling with a disjointed system where they had to fight for the simplest of things? In despair they wrote a letter to The Times. And how do we, as Christians, respond? The Bible is clear that this is what we ought to do.
Care not Killing, and new euthanasia lobby move We don't want to find ourselves being euthanized because doctors have taken a subjective view of our quality of life, which is what happened in Belgium and was reported earlier in this blog.  Or have a 75 year old woman with dementia being euthanized against her will.
Unpaid caregivers seven times more lonely than the rest of us There are now an estimated 8.8 million adult carers in the UK, up from 6.3 million estimated in the 2011 census. That’s a huge increase in numbers. And they are seven times more likely to be lonely compared with the general public, new figures suggest.
The power of worship in dementia Worship helps us to hold ourselves together. In one of his devotional books, Selwyn Hughes, one of Wales’ best-loved preachers, pointed out that in worship we find unity, not just with God but within ourselves.
Carers - undervalued by our culture, but not by God. What a mix of emotions watching last evening's Panarama programme on the human cost of the social care funding crisis!
How to write to your MP about the social care crisis Proverbs 31:8 says, '"Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless,' (GNT).
The human stories behind the social care funding crisis Most Councils are under huge financial pressure, with some on the verge of bankruptcy, struggling to meet the needs of a small percentage of their population after years of government under-funding of social care.
BBC's Panorama shows people suffering as social care collapses This evening there’s a Panorama programme at 9.00 o’clock showing how people are suffering because of the collapse of social care funding – both individuals and Local Authorities – Councils.
Probably the best thing you could do this Dementia Action Week This week, from May 20 – 26, is Dementia Action Week. Today the Alzheimer’s Society has a good website home page about it (google Dementia Action Week) with a heading over a photograph that says ‘a child always sees the person inside.’
World Health Organisation Guidelines on Reducing Dementia Risk Yesterday the World Health Organisation (WHO) published its latest guidelines on risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia.  This morning Dave Piper of Transworld Radio and I talked about it on TWR News.  After all, who isn’t interested in reducing their risk of developing dementia?
Thousands more older people dying from falls - mainly in deprived areas Falls are often fatal for frailer older people, so it's sad to read in today's press that over 5,000 died as a result of falls in 2017, 70% more than the 3003 in 2010.  The figures have been rising steadily.  And sadly, the main rise seems to be among older people in deprived areas.
Churchgoers live longer than others, says new study. But they missed the point! A number of studies have shown that people who go to church tend to live significantly longer than those who don’t. And, according to the lead scientist who led one of the studies, it isn’t simply because church goers have more social support, but because worshippers are flexing spiritual muscles.
The older generation contributes more £billions to the economy than the cost of social care - so why are they not getting it? The over-50s could be forced to pay more than £300 a year extra National Insurance to help fund a fairer social care system under plans drawn up by senior Tory Damian Green.
Pensioners contribute £billions more to the Exchequer than the cost of Social Care – so why aren’t they getting it? Once again, older people are being presented as an economic burden on society. The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, under pressure to produce the long delayed Green Paper on Social Care funding, has warned that taxes will have to keep rising for years to come to cover the cost of caring for Britain’s ageing population. (Cue intergenerational warfare.)
Five secrets to sharing Jesus with parents It can be tough trying to tell your parents about a faith they didn't raise you in!  This is a true story of a 99 year old grandfather who came to faith weeks before he died, thanks to the prayers and sensitive approaches of his son and daughter-in-law.
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