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A Conversation with Don Wagner: Dementia and Fruitfulness | Spirituality for our Wisdom Years Webinar
How does the agonizing challenge of caring for a beloved spouse invite one into a deeper relationship with God and community? How does this terrible medical condition yield gifts to those who are called to this caretaking? How does this represent the important work in maturing spirituality away from achievement, towards a fruitfulness which produces a legacy of peace for your loved ones, your faith community, and the world?

In this third of a series of conversations with elders who have entered into the final stage of life with grace and wisdom, Dr Maggie Meigs, Director of the Forest Dwelling Program at OST, will have a conversation with Don Wagner, Brigadier General (Ret.), United States Air Force, Medical Service Corps. Don is 92 years old and cared for his wife of almost 70 years until she died in early 2022. Jan was living with Alzheimer’s Disease for the last decade of her life. Don cared for her at home for many years until he had to place her in a setting that was able to care for her when he could no longer manage her safely. Don will share how he coped with the management of Jan, along with his grief as he lost the wonderful conversation partner and friend with whom he had shared his life since high school. An important part of this journey was the way he enlisted his faith community, his family and friends, and professional care in such a way that he was able to remain healthy, loving, and able to be his beloved’s caretaker. Don is very clear that his spiritual life and church community were essential along the way. Jan’s funeral was very well attended; people were uplifted and inspired by both Don and Jan – testaments to the legacy they are leaving behind.

This event will be recorded and will be available for viewing through August 7, 2022. An automated email will be sent 24 hours after the webinar with instructions on how to re-watch.

For more information, visit https://ost.edu/event/don-wagner-fdp-webinar/

Jul 7, 2022 06:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

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Don Wagner
Don Wagner was born in York, Pennsylvania in 1930. He began his healthcare career as a Physical Therapist, and entered into the United States Air Force during the Korean War. His initial assignment was to establish a Physical Therapy Department, and in the course of performing administrative activities in the hospital, he decided to move into the field of Hospital Administration. He received his Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from Baylor University, Waco, Texas in 1960. While on active duty in the Air Force, Don worked as the Chief Executive Officer in hospital facilities ranging from a 25 bed primary care hospital to a 1200 bed clinical teaching center. Additionally, he had several assignments at the command level of the Air Force, serving his last three years of active duty as the Deputy Surgeon General for Operations, USAF. He departed the Air Force in 1982, having achieved the grade of Brigadier General.