An author who specializes in faith and aging feels there’s a huge need in America to address issues that divide older people from their religious needs.
Missy Buchanan of Rockwall, Texas, is an author, columnist and public speaker who will appear June 24-25 at St. John’s United Methodist Church, 109 E. 14th St., Davenport.
Buchanan will speak at 6:30 p.m. next Friday to caregivers, including family members of older adults and professionals who care for older adults.
Her second address is at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, June 25, and is geared to older adults, their families and friends.
Buchanan reminds family members and others that they need to stay aware of the spiritual needs of aging loved ones. She has written four books, writes the “Aging Well” column for the United Methodist Reporter and makes frequent appearances at retirement homes and care centers across the nation.
This will be her second trip to Iowa. Buchanan — reached by phone as she headed to Texarkana for a care center visit — said she loved the hospitality of the people during her time last year in Des Moines.
The needs of aging seniors first came to her attention as she cared for her parents. Her father died in 2006 and her mother in 2008. “I almost made a big mistake with my own parents,” Buchanan said. “I was very, very attuned to their physical needs, but I had neglected their spiritual
Trying to change, Buchanan looked for books and educational materials on the topic, but found limited information. That’s when she started writing, with her first book, “Living with Purpose in a Worn-Out Body: Spiritual Encouragement for Older Adults,” published by Upper Room Books in 2008. It is now a top seller for the publisher.
She has since written three more books: “Talking with God in Old Age: Meditations and Psalms,” and “Don’t Write My
Obituary Just Yet: Inspiring Faith Stories for Older Adults.” Her most recent book, “Aging Faithfully:
28 Days of Prayer,” was just published and is available online and through booksellers, including Barnes & Noble.
The books have reached many people of faith, including a retired pastor. He writes in a testimonial for Buchanan: “I am a 79-year-old retired United Methodist pastor. My wife and I have just finished reading ‘Living with Purpose in A Worn-Out Body.’ We were deeply moved with appreciation and admiration for your work. We have ordered six copies to give to the chaplain of our United Methodist retirement community here in Topeka, Kansas.”
Another reader found one of Buchanan’s books helpful to her family: “Sometimes in life we never know when we have touched someone’s life, so I just want you to know you have touched ours. Mother was never anyone to put her feelings into words, but she has found comfort in your book. She has shared it with her childhood friend who is battling lung cancer and my brother, who is an emergency room doctor, is making copies available for his fellow doctors and patients.”
Buchanan stays away from giving specific advice to her audience, knowing solutions that work in some families won’t be realistic for others. “My goal is to remind people of the need for spiritual care. That’s my focus,” she said.
About Missy Buchanan:
On the web: www.missybuchanan.com
Facebook: Aging and Faith