Supporting ageing religious communities

Mark0431972

New member
Jun 11, 2024
4
0
Good afternoon everyone. I have a voluntary role as `Sangha Welfare Co-ordinator` supporting two Buddhist [Thai Forest tradition] monasteries in the U.K. Both communities have monks and nuns some of whom are now in their 70s/80s and some have issues related to the ageing process including alzheimer`s/dementia. I would love to make contact with anyone who might be in a similar role supporting other religious communities or who is interested in this topic generally. Kind regards, Mark
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
75,072
0
73
Dundee
Welcome to the forum @Mark0431972.

I think you have a very interesting and unique role. I’m not sure if anyone on the forum will have a similar role but I’m sure you will gain much from the discussions and support members provide for each other.
 

Gosling

Volunteer Host
Aug 2, 2022
1,989
0
South West UK
Hello @Mark0431972 and welcome from me also to this friendly and supportive forum. It certainly does sound like you have an interesting role.
There is a huge amount of shared experience of dementia to be found on this forum, so I am glad you have found us. Members here really do want to help and support each other.
 

Neveradullday!

Registered User
Oct 12, 2022
3,547
0
England
Hi @Mark0431972 and welcome to the forum.
I've got a lot over the years from the Thai Forest tradition, particularly Ajahn Chah (Thai monk) the original inspiration of the Forest tradition here, so thank you to you and everyone there!

An interesting question, of course, is whether wisdom built up over the years is lost when dementia comes along.
I do remember reading (about 20 years ago?) about Buddhists trying to set up a care home in the South of England - I don't know if anything ever came of that.

One more thought - I saw something on the telly a while back about a Catholic convent and it showed a couple of the nuns visiting one of their community who was in a care home with dementia. I remember thinking it was a shame she couldn't have stayed in the convent, but now I know what a challenge that would have been.

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Mark0431972

New member
Jun 11, 2024
4
0
Hello @Mark0431972 and welcome from me also to this friendly and supportive forum. It certainly does sound like you have an interesting role.
There is a huge amount of shared experience of dementia to be found on this forum, so I am glad you have found us. Members here really do want to help and support each other.
Thanks Gosling
 

Mark0431972

New member
Jun 11, 2024
4
0
Hi @Mark0431972 and welcome to the forum.
I've got a lot over the years from the Thai Forest tradition, particularly Ajahn Chah (Thai monk) the original inspiration of the Forest tradition here, so thank you to you and everyone there!

An interesting question, of course, is whether wisdom built up over the years is lost when dementia comes along.
I do remember reading (about 20 years ago?) about Buddhists trying to set up a care home in the South of England - I don't know if anything ever came of that.

One more thought - I saw something on the telly a while back about a Catholic convent and it showed a couple of the nuns visiting one of their community who was in a care home with dementia. I remember thinking it was a shame she couldn't have stayed in the convent, but now I know what a challenge that would have been.

View attachment 71047
Thanks NADD. I love the Ajahn Chah quote, but I personally can take no credit for the work of the monsatery and the Sangha. BTW, we have just finsihed the celebrations for Ajahn Sumedho, the founding Abbot at Amaravati, with monastics from all over the world attending.
You raise a fascinating question about the role of memory in the present moment and the part `intuitive awareness` plays, all in the context of dementia. I am not aware of any Buddhist Care Homes but I stand to be corrected. Care home placement presents real dilemmas I totally agree. Metta, Mark
 

Neveradullday!

Registered User
Oct 12, 2022
3,547
0
England
Thanks NADD. I love the Ajahn Chah quote, but I personally can take no credit for the work of the monsatery and the Sangha. BTW, we have just finsihed the celebrations for Ajahn Sumedho, the founding Abbot at Amaravati, with monastics from all over the world attending.
You raise a fascinating question about the role of memory in the present moment and the part `intuitive awareness` plays, all in the context of dementia. I am not aware of any Buddhist Care Homes but I stand to be corrected. Care home placement presents real dilemmas I totally agree. Metta, Mark
I've just done a couple of Google searches to refresh my memory, Mark. Good to know that Ajahn Sumedho is still going strong - soon to be 90 I see.
I used to read 'Buddhism Now' when it was a physical magazine. What I was thinking of must have been the 'Golden Buddha Centre' in Totnes, which I see concentrates on helping retired Buddhists, so probably not dementia related. There isn't much info on it, it may have closed.

Metta (goodwill) to you, Mark.
You'll find plenty of goodwill, sympathetic joy, compassion here BTW. And of course just so much wisdom on how to help people challenged with dementia. Caring isn't always a bed of roses, of course, so we have to cut ourselves some slack when we're not saints (at least I do). I've learnt so much from forum members.
Regards, Tony
 
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