When you look at an older person, who do you see?
That is the question posed by Resthaven Coordinating Chaplain, Rev Dr Trevor Whitney, who supports the
spiritual needs of residents at Resthaven Craigmore.
Rev Whitney says, ‘In the reception area of Resthaven Craigmore, there hangs three themed photos, each
depicting an older person looking into a mirror and seeing their younger selves. They are most thought-
‘In one photo, there is an older woman looking into a mirror and seeing the image of herself as a young,
spritely-looking nurse, her life and career waiting to be embraced.’
‘Behind this older woman is a lady observing her – and I wonder who that observer is actually seeing.’
‘Does she see an older, frail woman looking into the mirror observing her aging features? Does she see the
young vibrant nurse? Or both?’
‘Who do we see when we meet a new person who enters our community and our lives?’
‘Do we simply see them as they are in that moment, or do we see someone who, like us, has, and still is,
living a unique, varied, rich, life?’
At Resthaven, older people are valued for their ongoing and important contribution to their communities.
This is an important part of Resthaven’s core values of trust, dignity and choice.
As Rev Whitney says, ‘May the stories of our new neighbours enrich our understanding of them, just as our human story may enrich others.’
Wise words indeed.
Resthaven’s Coordinating Chaplains collaborate closely with other members of the residential services
team, providing individually-tailored emotional, religious and spiritual support to residents of all faiths – or
none, respecting the dignity and sacredness of all individuals.
They are available to listen confidentially to the life experiences of residents, offering comfort and support.
Resthaven was established in 1935 by the Methodist Church, and today is associated with the Uniting
Church in Australia.