Enjoying the patio garden in Pilgrim Gardens
Enjoying the patio garden in Pilgrim Gardens

Is the measure of a society the contentment of its older people?  God seems to think so.  Describing the coming peace and prosperity of Jerusalem, (Zechariah 8: 4,5) He says,  ‘Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of great age.  And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.’  What a lovely vision!  Safe streets for children and people of ‘great age’ sitting enjoying the sights and the sunshine.   Bring it on, Lord!

We need encouraging truths like this to spur us on.  Earlier this week I sent out a News Update based on Philippians 4:8, the verse that tells us to dwell on good things.  So it included only positive, uplifting news.  There was, for example, the story of Reuben Hill, a young Phd student whose brain tumour was removed by surgeons using a new technology that he, himself, had helped to develop. The tumour was near Reuben’s speech centre, and during the operation the surgeon stopped and asked him to say something.  The groggy 22 year old croaked, ‘the sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning,’ which is the first line of Matt Redman’s worship song; ‘Bless the Lord O My Soul’.  One of the verses says, ‘May I still be singing when the evening comes.’   Amen to that, for Reuben and all of us!   READ MORE HERE http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/11826669/Laser-detects-brain-tumour-during-surgery.html    If you’d like to receive our fornightly E-Send, send me your email through the form below, and I’ll add you to the list.

If you receive the magazine ‘Evangelicals Now’ you may have read my article about our Brain and Soul Boosting Sessions with older people in our housing complex in Yorkshire.  It describes the results of the wonderful work Janet Jacob is doing with people with dementia.  You can read it here –


The Emma Effect    

Emma Hughes
Emma Hughes

We are used to good inspection reports for our care homes, but Emma Hughes, manager of the Bethany home in in Plymouth, was so delighted by the latest Care Quality Commission report that she said she felt like singing and dancing a little jig around the home.  Sadly, she’s too English and grown up to do anything like that!  About the report she said, ‘to put our score into perspective, there are 4 scores under the new system:   Inadequate, Requires improvement, Good and Outstanding.   We are scored under 5 categories – Safe, Caring, Responsive, Effective, Well led.

‘Bethany had the following scores-  Safe =  good;  Caring = outstanding, Responsive = good, Effective –= good, Well led = good.’   Why not excellent on everything, I asked, knowing how well everyone is cared for in this home, staff included.  Emma explained that very few homes in the UK get excellent scores throughout.   Amazingly, the Bethany home is rather a slab-like Victorian building, but the atmosphere inside is so overwhelmingly good and welcoming that when they leave visitors tell Emma how lovely it is.


Louise Morse

Louise Morse MA (CBT) is media and external relations manager for the Pilgrims’ Friend Society. She is a writer and speaker, and author of books on issues of old age, including dementia, published by Lion Monarch and SPCK. She is a cognitive behavioural therapist, and her Masters’ dissertation examined the effects of caring for a loved one with dementia on close relatives.

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