Moving to a long term care or supportive living facility requires a great amount of change. Often there is a severe loss: losing one’s loved ones (often a spouse), home, privacy, identity, freedom and control. This can bring a lot of grief. Pastoral Care ministers to those who need an ear to listen to them and a voice to reason with. It begins with developing that personal relationship. This also is very true near end of life when people ponder “what is next”.
Spiritual Care is applied through assessment/identification and treatment/support specific to the person (individual and community). Spiritual and cultural values are often presented in intermingled fashions. Basic understandings of various culture’s beliefs/values/world views enhance understanding and appreciation of each person’s unique identity.
Having a dedicated Chapel in both Care homes provides that physical space to sit, meditate, reflect and pray. Used by the residents, family members, volunteers and staff, the Chapels require ongoing supplies to support the many monthly services and Celebrations of Mass. We have found that even those with very advanced dementia can participate in the rituals of Mass, especially if it was an important part of the life prior to the disease.
It is important and necessary to keep these Chapels maintained, warm, clean and safe.
Spiritual Care is about responding to human suffering with care, understanding and compassion for the whole person, with particular focus on the person’s spirituality. It is through spiritual care that residents and their families find hope and peace in the midst of suffering and bring purpose and meaning to both living and dying.