Jennifer Gingerich

Hi Mark, if you would be willing to share  your email address (I think you can message me by clicking on my profile picture), I would be glad to share a couple outlines for presentations I gave in a ministerial association meeting and for one congregation’s pastoral care committee about visiting in a nursing facility.  These are more practical suggestions and some education about dementia rather than specifically geared toward spiritual care.  You could also develop a resource yourself using some of the suggestions in the Elledge-Volker article from Week 2 of this course.

I do think that it is just as common for local pastors to share responsibility for a nursing facility’s services/pastoral care as it is to have a chaplain.  Here in Louisville, generally the church-related homes have chaplains, while the for-profits do not, with the exception of the Signature facilities.  Medicare and Medicaid, which provide the majority of the income for most nursing facilities, do not reimburse for spiritual care.  And usually budgets are very tight.  Organizations that provide chaplains have to make a strong commitment to spiritual care and often fund the positions through donations from churches and individuals.  That’s also why some of the participants here in this course are tasked with caring for 200+ residents.