Care for the elderly

care of elderly Plymouth BrethrenCare of the aged and infirm is inherent in the Christian ethos.  Hospitals, hospices and government health care are some of the benefits of a Christian country.

As do many families wherever possible Plymouth Brethren prefer to keep elderly people in their own homes as this helps maintain independence and dignity whilst saving public money – the Government seem to like this!

To give an example, Kathleen is a Plymouth Brethren widow who lives alone.   At one time she had an extremely active life – driving her car, shopping, entertaining and attending church.  Arthritis and advancing age were making it difficult for her to manage in her own home.   A team of community members stepped in to help clear up the house, tidy the garden, do her shopping, and arrange meals and carers to come twice a day.  Her car is now a wheelchair-accessible vehicle and members of the local Plymouth Brethren take her out every day to her friends’ houses and to church.  The result?  A very interesting and focused old lady who continues to live a satisfied life in her own home.

Nursing homes are sometimes needed particularly for specialist nursing care or dementia cases.   Any patients in nursing homes are visited regularly, and indirectly this often brightens up the lives of other residents.   Some Plymouth Brethren young folk visit  nursing homes and provide musical entertainment which always goes down well.

Children show interest and respect for elderly people. Young and old mix together happily both in houses and at church.

Recently the question was asked: is there more you can do?  The answer: “Yes, we could never do enough!”

22 thoughts on “Care for the elderly”

  1. PBCC Teenager says:

    I am 18, and I have always found that speaking to older brethren is such a privilege, because they know so much, and value you as a young person so much. Even just a small conversation with them can brighten up your day, and they appreciate you as a young person doing it!

  2. Josie says:

    We have elderly brethren here in North Dakota. They love the brethren and come to church every day. They love to see the brethren and are happy to be with the Lord Jesus. Thank You

  3. pbcc kiddie!! says:

    i’m 13 and a pbcc member. i have truly loved and valued my life in the fellowship, with brilliant friends, an awsome school and happy family. one of my grandpa’s was born non-brethren but joined the fellowship in his early 20’s. just after my dad and mum were married,he was taken to be with christ, so i never got the chance to meet him or find out his amazing war stories. my granny just died in january, and as she lived in the uk, i was never able to get her stories out of her either. i was very sad when she went and it has made me realise, that once they’re gone, they’re gone, so treasure them while you have them.

  4. Ranonymous says:

    I want to tell you about a dear old lady who went to be with Christ recently…she was very old, very frail and weak, in constant pain but happy, cheerful, interested in everything and everyone, especially when it involved the saints. She is especially remembered for her giving spirit, her faithfulness and her kindness. Her constant desire was to be at every church meeting she possibly could. She had not a soul to call her own amongst us but was selflessly and lovingly cared for by a family that had no natural connection to her whatever, no obligation to her naturally, but they cared for this bedridden lady 24/7 until the Lord took her to be with Himself. No nursing home needed here!

  5. h says:

    I also am a 14 yr old member of this church. I have to say the most worth-while times of my life have been spent with older brethren.
    My great-grandmother died when I was 12 and she was very very old. I never could talk very well with her as she was both deaf and blind. but the joy of just doing something little for her was incredible. She was thankful if I just went down to her apartment in my grandparents house.
    Old brethren are so valuable.

  6. Jay says:

    We often go and visit the local nursing home-the whole family loves it!!! All the elderly and disabled there seem very pleased everytime we turn up and the kids LOVE the stories they tell!!
    We sing hymns with them and some even join in with dancing! Such a special part of our community that so many young people out there just don’t know about/don’t want to know about>>glad we do! very rewarding!!

  7. Mary says:

    When our children were small my in-laws lived a granny annexe at our house. The children loved to spend time in ‘grandad’s house’, listening to stories, making things in his shed with him, etc. Their teachers commented on the positive effect it had on the children; they had a wider vocabulary and more mature outlook than many children. After grandma died there was plenty for grandad to do with the children so he wasn’t lonely. When old and young are together like this, everyone benefits.

  8. a says:

    I totally agree Alex, I am a member of the PBCC and have been for fourteen years obviously makes me fourteen and i think old poeple have lots valueble storys to tell
    i always enjoy there compony and would spend a day out with them any time

  9. Jeanette says:

    It is not only the elderly that are cared for by our community. My father was taken at 43 years with cancer and my mother 11 years later; also with cancer. I am the 2nd eldest of 7 children suddenly without parents as Mom went downhill very quickly. It was a very difficult time and we were surrounded by the love and sympathy of brethren worldwide pouring in comfort and care. We were not able to stay together as a family but were taken in by local families. This is an example of the unselfish care that is given; not only to our family but throughout the many localities worldwide.
    Since then, I have been given the privilege of helping my grandmother (92) as she is no longer able to drive. Driving her to gatherings or simply doing banking or grocery shopping or household chores gives me the opportunity to share my day with her. It is not easy for an older person to lose the ability to do simple chores or grocery shop after years of doing so but it gives the rest of us a chance to give back to those that have done so much for us. To me; it is a privilege to have a place in fellowship amongst the brethren as part of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church.

  10. L says:

    I am a female member of the PBCC in my early twenties and I have often spent my lunch-hour visiting a local nursing home. We value the elderly and whilst I enjoy their company, it’s so nice to come away knowing that you’ve made someone else happy by sacrificing your own time to spend time with them. One time I was visiting an elderly lady from the PBCC (in the nursing home) – she was hardly responding as she was so frail; I took her bible from her table and read to her from the Scriptures. She opened her eyes at once and said ‘Thank you. Please read more!’ Although she was very confused, her memory of the Holy Scriptures was clear and I could see that it revived her to hear them.

  11. Anony-mouse says:

    I am a 17 year old PBCC member and have two great grandfathers who are in their nineties. We often have them around for a tea or in the evening… they are very interesting – have had a lot of experience in their long lives and can tell some fascinating stories of WW2 and after…. I wouldn’t be without them, and feel extremely sympathetic for other people who wouldn’t have this privilege!

    1. adjudant says:

      Amen to that man! My Grandfather was in the Army here in Australia, some of the stories he tells are priceless!

    2. Laura says:

      What I find Fascinating is that we love our grandparents and love to be with them and love talking to them then you find yourself with your little nieces and nephews who are also enjoying the company of you and your grandparents and vice versa. It goes on from generation to generation and always amzes me

    3. Jack says:

      Anony-Mouse, I totally agree with you. I am a 16 year old PBCC member and I have a 93 grandfather, my other grandfather was taken to be with the Lord when I was 8 years old – I wish I appreciated him more when he was here.

      At school we have a school magazine – we ask the elderly members to write accounts of their experiences when they were younger – which includes accounts of The Depression, WWII, the Vietnam War. The accounts are not just interesting to read – they also prove educational and a learning experience for us younger people.

  12. Myself says:

    I’m 17 and part of the PBCC, I love speaking to the elderly people because they are very interesting and always tell you about their experiences. Whenever I speak to them I always get a sense of care and love.

    1. Smile:) says:

      Yes ‘Myself’, I absolutely agree!;) I am an 18 year old member of the PBCC and I take turns with some of our other members bringing an elderly lady from a nursing home out to the church services each night. She constantly requires medical attention which is why she is in a nursing home, but it is so rewarding to receive a big smile and hello when I go to pick her up and know that you’ve made someone else’s day just that much brighter!

  13. Jenwren says:

    Where would we be without our elderly and grandparents? Always, growing up amongst the Plymouth brethren, we would turn to the elder ones for stories and guiding instruction, as those that have had the experience of raising families. Attraction, affection and attachment are the key points in any child’s life, and who better, than grandparents who have the time to offer these three elements? It is well documented that the cause of so many problems at large in today’s society, is the crumbling away of the links between children and the older generation, who should be there to encourage and help them. We put our trust in Jesus, and care as best able for the older ones who have helped lead the way.
    Many times at the public schools, teachers have commented how they notice our children are free and happy in their spirits. This is largely due to the time and care given when mothers and fathers are busy with work and running a household, that others step in to help. The older brethren love the little ones, and the children are trusting and confident around them.

    1. Stay-at-home-Mum says:

      Please see my comments on Brethren helping the Stars blog.

      I’d also like to add, if and when you have the unhappy experience of being in hospital for whatever reason people turn to you because they see a person who can accept their suffering and turn to the Lord for help and comfort. Even when just in hospital with a newborn baby I’ve had young mothers ask for my advice and help, I was especially distressed by a young unmarried teenage mother, you can say some little thing to help them at the time, but what happens afterwards? You just trust you can impart something that the Lord has given you. We’ve also have had people ask us questions when we’ve had family in hospital, such as if a child dies before they are baptised will they be saved? Another one was about someone’s poor old mother who had dementia and was doing and saying things that were uncharacteristic, whether God would judge them for things when they weren’t in their right mind. Obviously the priest in their church couldn’t provide the answer…we trust we were able to provide part of the answer as well as some comfort to their souls.

  14. Gi says:

    We as a PPBCC household are very thankful for the many older members who have often been unable to get around much but have taken an interest in our littleones and given us a word of encouragement on the way. Our youngest daughter was born prem but she is doing well now (7) and we still have many older members who enquire after her welfare which reminds us that they carry many things in secret prayer before the Lord Jesus.

  15. Julia says:

    I am a member of the PBCC, and whenever I interact with the elderly they are always so pleased to talk to me and they are so interesting, after all, being only 20, they have had a lifetime of experiences to relate compared to me! I love the older people, and feel better for being with them.

  16. Alex says:

    I am a member of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church in Australia. I am 16 years old and live in a city where there are many elderly and disabled persons, who are happy, vibrant members of our church. To tell the truth, I find the greatest enjoyment out of visiting these persons and spending time with them, asking them about their histories and learning from their experiences. Often I do gardening jobs for older persons and they always enjoy my company. They have found their rest in Christ, and I would plead that any who are affected by this website would find Jesus too.

    Thank you.

  17. Kevin says:

    Good to see a family/caring spirit being maintained and fostered in todays increasingly selfish world. Thank you

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