Jennifer Gingerich

Betsy, it’s great to hear that your hospital is already following a lot of the best practices that Koetting describes.  I thought about my own setting: in many ways we do take into account residents’ pasts, and in other ways the staff-resident relationships can seem less understanding.  As an independent living community, we have a different balance of services.  We offer spiritual care through the chaplain, and social workers are available to help residents with practical needs and finding resources.  Activities are offered as well.  But on the other hand, we do not offer personal care or medical services, so we are not able to meet the needs of the whole person.  There’s the landlord-tenant relationship, and then the care relationships.  I know the social workers often feel that tension especially.  We have a majority of residents who receive financial assistance, with some even coming to us straight from homeless shelters.  Thinking about trauma-informed care makes me wonder how we might grow in how we respond to residents who have trouble following the community’s rules or keeping up with their obligations.  How might I as a chaplain be more helpful with these residents?