BY: JUDY CASSIDY
In this issue, we highlight parish-based health services and housing for the elderly, through several articles, as well as excerpts from two Catholic Health Association publications — Ministry Partners in Senior Housing and the soon-to-be published Parish-Based Health Services for Aging Persons. The cover of the latter book is especially significant to us. Its central image is a photo of Elizabeth Fahey, the mother of Msgr. Charles Fahey, whose foreword to the book appears on p. 43. Msgr. Fahey, long an outspoken advocate for providing a continuity of care for aging persons, presents a compelling rationale for participation in parish-based healthcare.
Photographer Jill Schmid took the picture when Health Progress visited Syracuse-based Loretto, where Mrs. Fahey lives, for an article in the November-December 1998 issue. Coincidentally, Loretto is also featured in Barbara Manard's article on p. 24, which describes assisted living and other senior housing arrangements.
The connection with family is strong in her article. With rich personal stories of how relationships between generations have carried on over time, she gives us a picture of assisted living that is good for residents, their families, and ultimately society.
Months ago, as this issue's content was beginning to take shape, I expected Barbara Manard to write a purely factual (and drier) analysis of senior housing, and I did not foresee the photo of Mrs. Fahey. But, as one who is lately paying more attention to how events and people intertwine in one's life, I think these family connections are more than coincidence. Both senior housing and parish-based services are relatively new approaches to dealing with old and deep concerns for families: concerns about the relationships between generations; about the responsibility of younger generations to care for older ones (and vice versa, Manard reminds us); about how we can, as both members of families and of a society with limited resources, care for our most vulnerable. Accidental or not, the "family thread" in this issue stands as a reminder of our place within our individual families and in the human family as well.
Parish Nursing Forum
A new section of CHAusa, the Catholic Health Association's website, posts resources for parish nurses. This spring the section will begin hosting a bulletin board for exchange of information and discussion of issues related to parish nursing. Users can access the section through the home page of the website (www.chausa.org) or through the following address: www.chausa.org/parish/nursing.asp.
Copyright © 1999 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
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