“Growing Old Together” was the title of a Pastoral Care Workshop conducted on Saturday 15th August at St Barts. Dr Trish Rathie who many of you will know as a member of the St Bart’s congregation was the facilitator. As well as a GP, Trish is heavily involved as a mentor and facilitator in her professional capacity, so the presentation was of a very high standard and well received by the participants. The structure of the presentation included the topic of who is old, projected statistics on the impact of the growth of the number and percentage of aged in our community from now into the future, dementia and other medical aspects of aging, what does the Bible say and included a journey with a family growing old.
The statistics are pretty incredible themselves with advances in care meaning the increase in life expectancy will have a huge impact on the number of elderly people in our community which require a huge resource base.
This is where we as Christians in the community need to adjust our thinking to apply the principals taught in Scripture. To help us apply those principles, Trish introduced a fictional family which included an aging husband and wife, their children and grandchildren. The participants explored a range of questions involving their thoughts and feeling as they battled ill health, dementia and family breakdown framed in all too familiar circumstances. This is not just a government problem, but one which we as Christian share as a responsibility within our community.
The workshop was very thought provoking and realistic and it was great that Trish was able to share her talents as a Christian professional in this manner.