Jennifer Gingerich

Hi Larry, I’m glad that you brought the topics of culture change and aging-in-place into conversation with the articles.  These are not a big focus in my current setting, so I had not yet thought about how they relate to the standards of practice.

It seems like encouraging the residents to express their own needs and wants could provide a good opportunity for spiritual care, encouraging them to name aloud ways in which they would like to grow spiritually, and what provides them support and comfort.  I think here the skill/expertise of the chaplain comes in as you guide that conversation with language and options, even helping them understand what you mean when you ask about their spiritual needs or preferences.  The basic screening or history may lead them to tell you that they are Baptist and like to attend worship services.  But then assessment happens as you get to know them better and learn about themes in their life or about how they respond to loss.

As residents have to move between levels of care, you may be one of a couple staff members who might follow them and help their new care/service team get to know them.  And you are there to help them adjust to that change or loss.  As you point out, a big piece of the LTC chaplain’s role is being in community with the residents and staff, so you may also be helping to soften the lines between the levels in different ways.

Do others have thoughts about how culture change in LTC or the chaplain’s role in community relate to the Week 1 readings?