Category Archives: seniors

Plowing Together: The Difficult Talk — Please Comment

How do you talk to your aging parents about moving to an assisted-care facility or nursing home? How do you talk to them about giving up their lifelong home?

How would you write about it? What ideas can you share in an article or book? Your comments may inspire another writer.

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Helping Aging Parents Navigate the Later Years

I am blessed to have my parents still with me. They are in their 80s and relatively healthy. But, they are slowing down. As their children, my sister and I help them with whatever they need. Other family members help, as well. A few weeks ago, their grandsons removed old railroad ties and pulled weeds from their back yard.

A couple of years ago, my mom was in the hospital. My dad walks with a cane and my mom occasionally needs a walker. Their physical limitations are growing but manageable. My mom still does laundry in their basement, refusing to allow us to help her with the stairs. They drive. And, they take care of my aunt, who lives in a nursing home. They want their independence.

How do you know when it’s time to step in? How do you help parents know when it’s time to stop driving, to move to an assisted-care facility or to get them in-home care? What are the healthcare options for aging parents? What do you do when you see signs of dementia? How do you help them without treating them like children?

We will encounter aging issues with our parents. How can we, as writers, help our readers know where to look for answers?

Share your own story. What worked for you? What didn’t work? What do you wish you had done differently?

Write a how-to piece. This will mean research. Talk to experts in the field and share their insights. Offer practical tips that your readers can use. Help them find the right government agencies, choose the right nursing home, find the best living situation that works best for their family.

Write a devotion. Use verses that talk about honoring parents and defending the defenseless. Help your readers understand that God commands us to care for our parents, forgive them for their mistakes and serve them until He calls them home.

Use fiction or poetry to share your insights. This is an indirect way to guide your readers as they deal with these issues.

Consider doing a tie-in to Mother’s Day. How has the meaning of Mother’s Day changed, now that your parents are aging? What are special ways to honor your aging mom?

As people live longer, more of us need direction to help our parents navigate the later years. Our parents took care of us. Now, it’s our turn. And, as writers, we can walk beside our readers because they’re navigating new territory, too.

© Deborah Christensen

 

Seeds of Truth: Psalm 60:12

With Gods help we will do mighty things…

Psalm 60:12, NLT

What help do you need from God? How do you learn to rely on God to take care of your needs? How do you put your faith in God to take care of you? What miracles have your seen in your life? How has God helped you to do mighty things? How do you trust Him to do mighty things through you? How does He help you when you feel insignificant? How do you learn to live in His power?

How Can You Use This Verse in Your Writing?

  • What kind of nonfiction piece can you write?
  • What tips would you offer in a how-to article?
  • What story can you tell in a personal experience piece? What takeaway value can you give?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire fiction?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire poetry?
  • Do you know someone who lives out this verse? Can you interview them and write a personality profile on them?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? What kind of children’s story can you write? What kind of nonfiction piece can you write for children? For teens?
  • What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
  • How can you apply this verse to writing about marriage, parenting, singleness, infertility, unplanned pregnancies, abortion, adoption, relationship struggles, aging parents, death of a loved one, work, unemployment, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, fear, discouragement, weakness, courage, hope, forgiveness, health issues, anger, anxiety, patience, grief, finances, prayer, persecution, salvation of loved ones, trials, etc.?

 

The Good in Goodness

hibiscusWhat does goodness mean to you? We know it’s a Fruit of the Spirit, but we need to look at how we can cultivate it in our life and use it in our writing.

Some people view people who live out goodness as “goody-two shoes.” That’s now how God sees it. He is good and He calls us to be good. That means He wants us to do the right thing, to obey Him, to love Him and to love others. It means we choose His way and turn away from the world’s way. We practice justice, use honorable speech, encourage others and live a pure life. We spurn evil.

Living a good life pleases God. After we give our life to Christ, goodness grows in our life. It shows we belong to Him and that He makes a difference in our life.

Encouraging Others to Goodness

It’s easier to sin. Cut a corner here, make a compromise there, and soon you’ve forgotten about goodness. But, goodness often requires sacrifice. In Galatians 6:9, Paul tells us not to become weary of “doing good.” And as writer, we can pass that message on to our readers.

When was a time you grew weary of doing good? How did you find the strength to keep going? How did you choose to do good instead of giving up?

Tell your story in a personal experience piece. Offer tips you learned in a how-to article. Give your readers practical advice that they can follow. Get them thinking about the importance of goodness.

Write a devotion and give your readers verses that they can turn to. Goodness pulls in issues of perseverance, trust and loving others. Find verses that encourage your readers in these areas, as well. Open the devotion with an anecdote.

Interview someone who works with the poor, fights for persecuted Christians, saves the unborn or helps the elderly. What can they share about goodness? How do their good works make a difference in the lives of the people they serve? How does God use them? How did they decide to make goodness the focus of their life?

Children need to grow in goodness, too. Help them see the value of making the right choices and making God happy. Guide them in the struggle to do the right thing.

Other Writing Arenas

Poetry is the perfect vehicle for a discussion on goodness. Poets have a way of viewing something from a different angle. You can offer a unique perspective.

In fiction, you can write a character who struggles with goodness. Put obstacles in your character’s way that prevent them from choosing to do good. How do they overcome it? You can feature the classic fight of good against evil in your fiction.

God values goodness. We can value it in our own life and help our readers see the importance of it for their lives, too.

© Deborah Christensen

The Fertile Fields of Old Friendships

hibiscusSeveral weeks ago, I attended my 35th college reunion. I hadn’t seen some of the people in 35 years. As we reconnected, it was as if the 35-year gap never existed.

We talked about the joys of grandparenthood, the healing after losing a spouse, the difficulties and blessings of remarriage, and the pain of watching our parents decline. Teachers talked about the state of education today. Runners talked about bodies that are 35 years older.

It was a joy to spend time with these old friends. And when I thought about our time together later, I realized that many of the things we talked about would make great topics for articles, devotions and fiction.

Share the Stories

I’ve never experienced the loss of a spouse. But, one of my old friends did. Look for stories that you can share.

What did they learn from their experience? How did God help them through it? How did they come out on the other side? If they’re still in the middle of the struggle, how do they keep going?

Write personal experience articles, how-to articles, poetry and devotions, all using your friend’s story as the foundation. Let the story inspire your fiction. Create a character who faces those obstacles and show how the character struggles and grows through it.

Address the Topics

I’m not a teacher but one of my old friends is. My parents are fairly healthy. But, one of my old friends is dealing with caretaking her parents. I’ve never had cancer but several of my old friends are survivors. Your old friends can become your “experts.”

Your old friends have a perspective that you may have never thought of before. Or, they may have experience with an issue that you don’t. Tap into their expertise. Get their insights.

If you’re writing something that requires research, contact one of your old friends who knows about that issue. Their information will help you with your research, but it may also spark new writing ideas.

Relish old friendships. But, also look for writing ideas that may be hiding in those relationships.

© Deborah Christensen

Seeds of Truth – Isaiah 58:11

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

Isaiah 58:11, NIV (1984)

How does God guide you? How have you seen Him guide you in the past? How did He satisfy your needs when you were in a sun-scorched land? What did that “land” look like? How did He strengthen you as you went through it? How did you see God turn your life into a well-watered garden? How did He pour His water into your life and show you that He never fails?

How can you use this verse in your writing?

  • What stories can you tell in a personal experience article? What anecdotes can you use as an introduction to a nonfiction article?
  • What tips and insights can you offer in a how-to article?
  • How can you use this verse in fiction?
  • How can you use this verse in poetry?
  • How can you use this verse in a devotion?
  • Do you know someone who’s lived out this verse? Can you interview them? What kind of personality profile can you write on them?
  • How can you use this verse in writing for children?
  • How can you apply this verse to marriage issues, parenting issues, financial issues, emotional health, spiritual health, physical health, work issues, relationship and family issues, singleness, senior issues, etc.

Seeds of Truth – Psalm 112:5

Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice.

Psalm 112:5, NIV

How have you seen this verse at work in your life? What have you learned about financial issues? How do you conduct your affairs with justice?

How can you share your story through a personal experience piece? What takeaway value can you give your readers? What tips and insights can you offer your readers through a how-to article? Who can you interview for a personality profile in this field? How can you use this verse in a devotion? In fiction? In poetry? How can you explain this verse to children?

Here are some additional suggestions to get you thinking:

  • a marriage article
  • a parenting article
  • an article for seniors
  • an article for young adults.
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