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      The Silver Tsunami: Implications for Ministry in Fairhope

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      September 21, 2019

      Saturday   9:30 AM

      860 North Section Street
      Fairhope, Alabama 36532

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      The Silver Tsunami: Implications for Ministry

      Designed for church leaders interested in meeting the needs and interests of aging congregations. TOGETHER WE WILL EXPLORE:  ministry focus on the demographics of the aging US population, especially as related to those living with dementia a new approach to aging – From life span to health span a healthful diet’s effect on aging empathy for the frail elderly and those living with dementia support for caregivers developing specific ministries for serving the aging For Additional Information Contact: The Rev. Sara Phillips Chair of the Commission on Affirmative Aging, Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast Telephone: 251-709-7979  |  Email: AGING IN THE UNITED STATES 2019: The fastest growing segment of the population is those aged 85 years and older. The number of people with chronic diseases and with dementia is rising exponentially. According to the Washington Post article “’The Big Number: Millennials to overtake boomers in 2019 as largest U.S. population group in January of 2019,’ The aging of such a large group will continue to put pressure on the U.S. health-care system and Medicare costs. According to the Census Bureau, by 2030, when “all baby boomers will be older than age 65,” 1 in 5 U.S. residents will be of retirement age. Gen Xers — a smaller group sandwiched between millennials and boomers and now mostly in middle age — will finally outnumber boomers in 2028.’” One in three US Episcopalians is 65 or older, yet the majority of the ministries of any given church are focused on other age groups begging the question: Do the many churches in the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast perceive this situation as critical—what programs and resources are needed or in place to meet the elder churchgoer’s unique needs? The physical, social, economic, and spiritual implications are serious. Considerations include: Do we have a readily available demographic study of our church, our neighborhood and of our diocese to guide the actions of task forces and decisionmakers? What is our responsibility to design and implement ministries for, by, and with members of the elderly? What is our knowledge base for developing critical ministries? Let us as priests, deacons, parish nurses and a variety of lay persons work together to develop an understanding of and empathy for members of this segment of the population. Then, we can address some of the myriad and complex issues and the implications for ministry for the frail elderly, for individuals who are living with dementia and for their caregivers.

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