Author Archives: Clive Price

MMHS resident boosts new Wesley book

MMHS resident Lord Griffiths of Burry Port has written the foreword for a new collection of writings by John Wesley.

Leslie Griffiths – a member of the House of Lords since 2004 – has officially endorsed Through The Year With John Wesley, a selection edited by Stephen Poxon.

RAW ENERGY

Published by Monarch, the book offers 365 daily readings from John Wesley. Leslie admitted he picked up the book with ‘some hesitation’ at first.

‘It’s a brave man who would take on the challenge of releasing the raw energy, tapping back into the mind-boggling and heart-warming ideas, which gave Wesley such a unique place in the gallery of great Christian thinkers and preachers of the past,’ he said.

‘But I need not have worried,’ Leslie added in his foreword. ‘Page after page brings illumination, inspiration, intellectual stimulation even to diehards like me. The generosity of spirit of John Wesley, “the friend of all and the enemy of none” is here displayed again and again.’

Through The Year With John Wesley refreshes and presents some of the theological and reflective writings of ‘The father of Methodism’, linked to Scripture verses and daily prayers.

LITTLE GEM

Each reading is from John Wesley’s prolific output as an intelligent and passionate writer. ‘This is a little gem of a book,’ said Leslie. ‘Day after day for an entire year, it will lift the spirits of 21st century men and women and equip them to face the challenges of today’s world.’

An MMHS resident since summer 2017, Lord Griffiths is Shadow Spokesperson for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Shadow Spokesperson for Wales, and Opposition Whip in the House of Lords. (Photo of Lord Griffiths by John Lubbock, Communications Co-ordinator, Wikimedia UK)

What’s age got to do with it?

Meet the lay preacher who wrote a book at 100 years of age because he couldn’t stand long enough to preach, and the 95-year-old who organised local church support for his care home.

They and others feature in Louise Morse’s book What’s Age Got to Do with It?, which offers a scriptural view of old age. Published by Monarch, the book challenges the thinking that being old is about retreating to a rocking chair and easy lifestyle.

CHANGING MINDS

Media and Communications Manager for Pilgrim Homes, Louise explains how God set in motion times, seasons and the ageing process. But many see themselves as ‘useless’ and are afraid of being a burden. Ageism has destroyed their self-image and expectations.

The author shows how to live the way God intended. Among her evidence, Louise cites social psychologist Ellen Langer who dared to ask the question, ‘Could we change our physical health by changing our minds?’ Dr Langer and her team devised ‘the Counterclockwise Study’. They took groups of eight men in their 80s on a week-long retreat in a house that had been retrofitted and taken back to 1959. They were to go back in time, to live in that year, not discussing anything after 1959.

ARTHRITIS DIMINISHED

People came out of the experience with their hearing and their memory – even the strength of their grip – significantly improved. Fingers lengthened as arthritis diminished and they had greater manual dexterity. There were improvements in height, weight, gait, posture, and scores in intelligence tests. ‘I’ve come to believe less and less that biology is destiny,’ said Dr Langer. ‘It’s not primarily our physical selves that limit us, but rather our mindsets about our physical limits…We must ask ourselves if any of the limits we perceive as real do exist.’

Be wise through winter

Winter brings extra challenges for us all. And it’s not just severe weather that causes problems. Even average winter temperatures can affect our health.

A new updated guide Winter Wise from Independent Age offers advice on staying healthy, safe and warm – as well as information about help with higher winter fuel costs. Many of the tips will seem like common sense. However, it’s a good idea to think about them, to make sure we have everything we need as the cold weather continues.

Winter Wise is aimed at the wider population in England, so there are one or two points that don’t apply directly to MMHS residents. For instance, the guide reminds people to get their boiler serviced. The Society is responsible for ensuring all gas heating and hot water systems are serviced annually for our residents. We monitor this closely to ensure contractors comply with this requirement. Section 4 of the Tenants’ Handbook gives clear guidance on work to be included when a service is carried out – together with contact details in the event of a breakdown.

Click here for a free download of Independent Age’s Winter Wise. Print copies are available from Independent Age. Alternatively, contact Independent Age by post or phone – Independent Age, 18 Avonmore Road, London W14 8RR, tel 020 7605 4200.

Roof ‘n’ Roots brings it all home

The importance of feeling ‘at home’ comes across loud and clear in the latest edition of our regular newsletter Roof ‘n’ Roots.

Our lead story in the winter issue focuses on author and Society resident Revd Barrie Tabraham. He had a rocky road to retirement – but has now found a place of peace in his MMHS property. ‘I’ve never lived anywhere as nice as this,’ is how he described his Surrey home. MMHS are delighted to help Barrie and his wife Joan.

HANDY HINTS

There is also the announcement of our new service for your wellbeing. This is a special section of the MMHS website offering handy hints, practical tips and expert guidance on mobility and independence – with a growing range of downloadable resources.

Society resident Revd Dr Neil Richardson writes in Roof ‘n’ Roots about the idea of making God feel ‘at home’ and what that means in our day-to-day lives. ‘God is always more than willing to take up residence in both our hearts and our homes,’ says Neil, who is a past President of the Methodist Conference.

FIRE SAFETY

In addition, the newsletter offers updates on water hygiene tests, fire safety issues and customer satisfaction with repairs and gas servicing.

Roof ‘n’ Roots is sent out to all MMHS residents. But family and friends – along with supporting churches – are most welcome to receive a copy, too.

Please contact the Society and let us know if you’d like to enjoy this publication on a regular basis. We’d be very happy to send you our newsletter, as we share the stories of just some of our remarkable residents.

The making of Barrie

The family aren’t too far away, the local Methodist church is close, and it’s a nice walk to Pizza Express. Home is down a quiet lane, tucked away from the city roar.

Dragonflies dance on the pond full of ornamental fish in this semi-rural idyll. If you tire of gardening, potter in the shed that houses a model railway.

TAUGHT HISTORY

Is this a dream? No. ‘I’ve never lived anywhere as nice as this,’ Barrie told us. ‘I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather live.’

Revd Barrie Tabraham and wife Joan have been Society residents since June 2010. You may remember his name. He’s written two major books – The Making of Methodism and Brother Charles – the former is one of the most popular resources for those exploring the background of Methodism.

However, it’s not been a smooth ride to their retirement home in Surrey. Barrie had taught history for 12 years, then was a Methodist minister for 24.

SAVED LIFE

But cancer, two heart attacks and a series of surgical operations took their toll. Barrie ended up being signed off work for eight months in 2004. His district chair said to his wife Joan, ‘He should retire, he should stop’.

With reluctance and relief, Barrie was given permission to retire at 61 in 2008. ‘Joan thinks the church saved my life,’ said Barrie. ‘She said if I stayed in work, I’d be dead by now. I probably put in too many hours. My enthusiasm gets the better of me sometimes.’ (You can read Barrie’s full story in the winter 2017 edition of Roof ‘n’ Roots. Photos by Clive Price)

Winter 2017

While storms lashed these islands – followed by the worst snowfall in seven years – Roof ‘n’ Roots has been falling on doormats across the country.

Offering comfort and encouragement to our residents, here is a sample of the heart-warming content in our winter edition:

  • how Society resident and author Revd Barrie Tabraham found a place of peace;
  • why customer satisfaction is at an all-time high for the Society;
  • the launch of our new service for your wellbeing;
  • how fire safety is high on our agenda;
  • Revd Dr Neil Richardson on why God is willing to take up residence in our hearts and homes.

 

 

 

How to tech care

We all know we’re surrounded by a whole world of technology. But do we know it could help make life easier when caring for someone?

According to Carers UK, simple devices and apps can help someone live independently for longer. To equip and inform you, Carers UK have supplied us with their guide What Can Tech Do For You? – which you can download here or visit the Carers UK website.

Many of us use technology in our everyday lives. But seven out of ten people don’t think of technology when it comes to caring.

Why not use it to help you take care of your loved one? You could set up one or two devices or applications – or even a larger system that is connected to you and other carers.

A new service for your wellbeing

Handy hints, practical tips and expert guidance on mobility and independence are offered in our brand new service on wellbeing.

FREE RESOURCES

A wide range of subjects are explored in this innovative section – here on the MMHS website. There you can get access to resources on a wide range of issues concerning mobility and independence. And many of those resources are free:

– a guide on how to choose the right mobility scooter;
– advice from Which? on how to arrange respite care;
– NHS guidance on keeping warm in the winter;
– an online map to find your local community transport provider;
– a free service for wheelchair users;
– a guide on keeping safe and driving for as long as possible.

USEFUL HANDOUTS

The ‘wellbeing’ section is growing all the time, as we are constantly researching and adding useful handouts and weblinks to the list. We are in contact with a range of other agencies who supply us with news on the latest developments in the area of wellbeing.

Keep visiting our website for wellbeing guidance, regular news, residents’ stories and the online versions of Roof ‘n’ Roots.

Share your story of caring

How do you – or a carer you know – support someone living with dementia? The organisers of National Dementia Carers’ Day – which took place on 10th September – want people to share such stories.

GREAT SUCCESS

NDCD was ‘a great success’ on social media, the organisers told us. A number of guest bloggers submitted content. Unfortunately, individual stories were small in number. However, NDCD are still interested to hear people’s stories and share them.

As many of us have experienced, caring for a loved one with dementia poses many challenges. Perhaps you can share what it means to be a carer. National Dementia Carers’ Day (NDCD) say all submissions will be read and may be shared as part of their work.

The day is an annual event, and the hope is that NDCD 2018 will be bigger than ever. The initiative is founded by a coalition of partners – SweetTree Home Care Services, Dementia UK and Alzheimer’s Society.

GOD MEMORIES

Quite separately from NDCD, over recent years a number of resources have been produced by various organisations, looking at dementia from a faith perspective. These include:

Dementia: Living In The Memories Of God by John Swinton (William B Eerdmans, 2012);
Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything by Sally Magnusson (Two Roads, 2014);
First Steps To Living With Dementia by Simon Atkins (Lion, 2013);
Creating Church At Home: For Older People Living With Dementia by Patrick Coghlan (Kevin Mayhew, 2016);
Dementia: Pathways To Hope by Louise Morse (Monarch Books, 2015);
Prayers For Dementia by Fay Sampson (Darton, Longman and Todd, 2017).

‘When you’re caring for a loved one with dementia the world can be a very lonely place sometimes,’ said Nicki Bones from SweetTree Home Care Services. ‘Raising awareness is vital if we’re to build dementia-friendly communities.’ For more information and to share your story about living with dementia, visit here.

Use community transport

What if we don’t have access to cars, taxis or buses? Well, don’t worry – try community transport.

Ranging from car schemes to minibuses, these can be a lifeline in both rural and urban areas.

Community transport takes disabled people to work, children to school, sick people to healthcare and older people to the shops. Click on this link to find schemes in your area. (Photo: Clive Price)