1. Liz&family

    Liz&family Registered User

    Jun 15, 2005
    12
    Hi all,
    I havent posted for ages and seem to only do so when i am at a loss of what to do. Here I go again.

    Mum has Alzheimers and lives alone at the moment. She will soon be going into a home as it is becoming more and more difficult for her to be by herself.
    She has always lived in one village for the 74 year of her life and has great religious faith, she has supported the village church in no end of ways. I am close to a member of the clergy in the village (she is god-daughter to my child). Mum can no longer get to the Church services (she has no idea what day or time it is) and spends a lot of time alone.

    I have asked the Rector and my friend to visit Mum for a few prayers at home, have asked if any of the congregation could help out with taking Mum to a service (I live 55 miles away and with two small children I simply cannot get there to take Mum myself) yet no-one responds to me.

    I get so upset when I hear that other people in the village have been ill and that the parish has been of a great support to them yet no-one wants to know Mum.

    I am now beginning to question my faith and wonder what its all about - if God really is there, why isnt he helping? Why dont people undertand that Mum is terminally ill? Why does everyone shy away from my Mum?

    I dont expect anyone to have a magic solution but just felt the need to talk to others who may have had similar issues or at least people who understand.

    Thanks for reading - just knowing you are all there is a God send.

    Liz
    x
     
  2. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Liz

    I know exactly where you're coming from. There is so much unhappiness in life that I think it takes a saint not to have doubts at some stage. Even the clergy have doubts at times.

    But the lack of response to your appeal may be down to human frailty rather than anything else. People are frightened by dementia, and it could be that people are worried about the responsibiliy of taking your mum to church.

    Could you go and see your friend and tell her how upset you are? I can't understand why the rector isn't visiting. That should surely be part of his job? I know these days the clergy do less in the way of sick visiting, but he should be prepared to give visiting communion.

    I can't help with the doubts, it's such a personal issue, but I do think you need a serious talk with your friend. Don't give up until you've tried.

    Keep in touch, we're always here.

    Love,
     
  3. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    hi liz

    maybe it's more your faith in other people that's being tested rather than faith in god?

    i agree with skye ....... it would be good to talk to your friend and try to find out a bit more about what's happening. people might be afraid of trying to help your mum ...... sadly people do seem to shy away from dementia. whereas congregants might be happy to sign up to give a lift to someone who has arthritis and can't walk down to church anymore, they may be less confident going to pick up someone who doesn't know what day of the week it is.

    perhaps a little more understanding of dementia would enable them to offer care to your mum as well as other people in the church community.

    best wishes

    Áine
     
  4. Liz&family

    Liz&family Registered User

    Jun 15, 2005
    12
    thank you both so much, you have helped me form a plan and given me a bit of clarity on my confusion with people.
    thanks for being there
    Liz
    x
     
  5. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Liz,
    Some churches have enough difficulty in dealing with children in church - how would they know how to deal with an adult who may be confused?!!I think when someone has dementia, it really sorts out who the true friends are, who really cares - and sounds as though at the moment your mum's church is coming up wanting.
    Personally I would speak to your friend and the vicar (rector) - my goodness, if no-one can take your mum up to Church, it may be worth asking what Jesus would have done - gone and sat in a nice church mixing politely, or gone and held the hand of a confused sick woman? Sorry if I am being irreverent - but faith has to be reflected in the whole of life in my book.

    If God is there? Who knows the answer to that one - wish I did? But if He is, it is not God that has stopped acting - it is his agents who are not doing there job!! Maybe He just wants you to give them a bit of a reminder!!

    Glad you have formulated a plan - let us know how it goes.
    Love Helen
     
  6. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #6 Margarita, Jun 14, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2007

    Have you spoken to the Rector , since you ask him ?

    As I wondering how you know that they have not been around the house ?

    Hope I do not sound rude , But maybe your mother has said they have not come around , when may be they knock and no one answered the door , or maybe your mother has forgotten .

    I have question God also , now I think poor thing , what ever GOd is It get the blame for every thing :)

    brought the people to Liz mother home :) and told them all the
    temple of God is within us all we don't need a church , just a good community of people .

    Seeing that Jesus did not invent the church

    Jesus Christ appeared to his disciples after his resurrection and, according to Catholic tradition, established Peter's supreme jurisdiction over the Christian church.
     
  7. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia


    I agree with Amy. I think you would be wise to visit the minister (pastor, rector) and express your concerns about your Mum. Just a word of advice - hope you don't mind. You sound upset by their lack of attention to your Mum and I think you are entirely right in that. But do try not to show this upset (or anger) to the minister because it can make people defensive and just try to justify their actions - or inactions in this case!!

    I suggest you focus on your Mum's faith, her need for continued contact with the Church, and your own need for the Church to support her - and in doing so, supporting you.

    I do feel deeply for you and I hope you can find some support from the Church.
     
  8. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    Hi Liz

    Hi Liz,

    Oh I am sure this is just a case of a misunderstanding. Churchgoers these days don't go to church just for show as many used to do, most of us don't go at all any more, and those who do are likely to be very caring people. Something has gone wrong with communication here, I suspect. You might need to be a bit more assertive. Not "I wonder if someone would......." but "I want someone to.......". or even "My mum needs transport to church on Sundays, who would be able to do that?".

    My mum attends a very small (but lively) Catholic church, and they have a rota system to take the elderly to Mass every week. It is a vital part of my mum's routine. So vital in fact, that she rang the organiser last Sunday at 3.30 a.m. to find out who was collecting her! And when she was told it was Mr C, she rang him as well! I rang them both to apologise and do you know what they said, which I thought was wonderful - "When you undertake to help the elderly members of the church you expect problems, it's part of the service we offer". Well, I've had lots of issues with the Catholic Church over the years, but I can't fault them on that.

    I know neither of these two people, but when I explained my mum's dementia they both immediately asked if I'd like members of the church committee to visit her once a week. My "faith" has been restored. I might even go to church myself!

    Gosh, if dogmatic Catholics can pull out the stops for disadvantaged people in the community, I am sure the other religions can.

    Liz, perhaps you didn't make your request clear enough. And perhaps you made it to the wrong person. Perhaps a Committee Member might be more appropriate. Rectors have so much to do nowadays that lots of routine tasks are undertaken by volunteers, so perhaps you need to find out who the person is that organises this.

    Before my mum arranged this herself, I was thinking of paying for a taxi for her. Perhaps you could say to your contact "I'm thinking of arranging a taxi for her, but I don't think she'd be very happy going with a stranger", and see what that results in. I am SURE she will be supported by her church. Perhaps people remember her as she was, dynamic, supportive, active, and don't realise that she isn't able to play that role any more.

    I have to say I don't agree with the people on this thread that are unhappy with religious organisations, I have found most locally (and I live in a large village/small town in the country) of all denominations try to look after all members of the church. Do perservere, if it is important to your mum. As it is.

    Let me know if any of my suggestions have been of use. I am no people-person, but my mum gets major pleasure from her weekly attendance at church.

    Laugh. They have installed speed bumps on one of the roads between her house and mine. Every week she says "Oh, it is bumpy on this road, the council should do something about it". And every week I explain the purpose of speed bumps. Eventually I said "Don't they have any speed bumps where you live?". Answer No. I drove up to her church last week. Speed bumps all the way!

    Good luck Liz. Don't give up.

    Regards

    Margaret
     
  9. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Margaret,
    Having reread the thread I dont think any of the posts have been particularly unhappy with religious organisations - really we are all saying the same as you - persevere, there has been a misunderstanding.

    I think you are right, church goers dont go just for show - many get a lot out of the religious services, the community atmosphere, and are very supportive of one another - but there is also a need to look to how they can serve the wider community - and many do. I live in a village, where the local church is active, providing a youth club, monthly lunch for the elderly, mens and womens groups.
    Love Helen
     
  10. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #10 Margarita, Jun 15, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2007
    I must say Margaret

    It was Nice to read

    My mother is a Roman Catholic & I once ask the priest that was over from spain to pop around to say a mass with my mother and he did .

    sounds like a lovely community you live in
    Your find the smaller the community one live in they more support for the elderly in Churches , that my personal view anyway comparing it with the diversity of faith & churches that with have in Gibraltar & the support the elderly get at the mass with a population of 30, 000 people

    PS as I said in my post above like you I do think it could be

    I hope
     
  11. Liz&family

    Liz&family Registered User

    Jun 15, 2005
    12
    Thank you all so much for your help, advice and words of encouragement. When the rest of the family was in bed last night I printed off all the replies, sat calmly with a glass of wine (it was Friday night after all!) and highlighted all the parts of the messages that stood out to me.
    There are far too many to quote and thank individually - some made me laugh, some made me cry, some made me think, and lots encouraged me.
    I shall see the Rector or my friend this week when I visit Mum and ask directly for visits to her and/or help for some-one to take her to Church and let you know how I get on.
    In the meantime I'll thank God that you have been there and helped me through this time
    With love to all and I hope I can support someone else oneday in the way you have supported me
    X
     

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