Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care

​Visits to Long-term and Short-term Care Nursing Residents. Everyone has a spiritual story. A Chaplain visit encourages residents to share their story; what gives their life meaning, purpose, and value. Sometimes during life's passages one needs a spiritual friend to walk with them. That's when a Chaplain visit may become most meaningful. A chaplain visit often address issues of spiritual practice, spiritual needs and wants, and important beliefs regarding wellness, illness and end-of-life.

Sacred Rites. Chaplains perform holy rituals or arrange for special rites or sacraments from various traditions to be preformed upon request. Chaplains serve open Holy Communion, Anointing & Prayers, Baptisms, Weddings and Renewal of Vows Rituals, and Memorial or Funeral services.

Clinical Assessments. The chaplain ascertains the resident's religious history along with their current faith community support, community and family support system, and coping strength. Spiritual needs are addressed on an ongoing basis. A formal assessment may be requested by the resident or family for spiritual direction and care goals.

Counseling and Spiritual Direction. The chaplain is trained in providing pastoral counseling and spiritual direction for residents, families and staff. Often short-term counseling is provided to those during a crisis or trauma. Sometimes a person finds themselves lost, without direction, overwhelmed, and feels they are having a spiritual emergency. A chaplain provides a non-anxious presence, so one may experience Light during their darkness.

Hospital Visits. Sometimes one has a health crises that sends them to the hospital. During these challenging times Chaplains attempt to connect with our residents and employees who may need spiritual and emotional support. A health crises may put a strain on ones coping skills. A chaplain may assist one to connect with their spiritual self and facilitate healing during ones recovery.

Christian Wholeness Ministry. It has been said that modern healthcare has its origins in the Church. The chaplains provide a cooperate worship experience in which residents, families and staff are encouraged to pray for healing. There is an emphasis in worship on forgiveness, reconciliation, and traditional Christian rites of "laying-on-of-hands" and anointing, for healing of mind, body and spirit. Chaplain Copeland also provides a "Laying on of Hands" prayer ministry for individual employees, residents and families as a registered practitioner in Jin Shin Do acupressure. He also integrates cranio-sacral and applied kinesiology techniques into the traditional Christian rituals of anointing, laying on of hands and pastoral care.

End of Life and Bereavement Care. Chaplain's coordinate spiritual care for those at the end of life, with their local clergy and hospice chaplain. Dimensions of spirituality are explored with the dying: meaning, conception of divinity, relationships, mystery, play, experience of being alive, and integration of mind, body, spirit for the care of the soul. The chaplains oversee a volunteer program, the Compassionate Companion, that provides a vigil visitor for those actively dying. At the time of death the Chaplain begins a bereavement program for residents, families and employees that have lost a loved one. This program follows the bereaved resident or employee for one year. Bereavement care is also offered to caregivers at the time immediately following a death.

The "Praying Hearts" Prayer Chain. Maple Knoll has a compassionate spirit. Residents volunteer to pray for each other and those requesting prayer. Those requesting prayer leave a message on the prayer chain by telephoning 782-2400 extension 2273 or those on the Maple Knoll Campus may dial CARE.

Spiritual Discussion Groups. These round table discussions examine the breath and with of what is spiritual, for those aging at Maple Knoll. Some round table meetings are seasonal or fitting a specific event, i.e. September 11, 2001 or a PBS documentary dealing with religion and ethics. Other round table groups, like the Bodmann Groups and "Draw Near" Breese Manor residents, meet twice a month.

Family Caregivng Support Groups. For several years family members who help another maintain their independence have benefited from a monthly support group. It is often heard, "I wish I had attended the group sooner. It is so helpful to be with others with similar concerns and circumstances." The caregiving support group that meets at Maple Knoll Village is called "Thou Shalt Honor." The group gathers every third Monday of the month in the Breese Manor Club Room.

Spiritual Care Volunteer Programs. Volunteers are vital to our spiritual care program throughout Maple Knoll Communities, Inc. It is our goal for the volunteer to provide quality spiritual care. Spiritual care volunteers assist older adults to reach there highest potential as individuals in giving glory to God. Volunteers promote independence, good health, personal fulfillment, and a deeper knowledge of God.

There are several ways to volunteer.
  1. ​Chaplain Aide. These are individuals who are trained by the chaplains to provide spiritual care visits. An application, interview, training and orientation is followed by quarterly continuing education workshops. They often assist the Chaplains in a variety of services and programs. Several of these are:
    • Cards and Letters: Many older adults receive care and education through a card or letter during life's passages. Three programs have regular cards and letters sent TLC Contacts for older adults at risk during transitions, bereavement care for those who have recently lost a loved one, and birthday celebrations.
    • Telephone Calls: Many older adults battle loneliness, helplessness, and boredom. Telephone companionship offers support and care for older adults who have limited activities.
    • Visits: Pastoral care visits to older adults in our healthcare pavilion and assisted living can be very meaningful. Music, scripture reading, prayers, and life review add quality to life for our older adults in need of our greatest amount of care.
  2. Spiritual Care Volunteer. These are individuals who volunteer and are on-call and offer their time as needed. Some of the areas of service and programs that they facilitate are in the Chapel:
    • Wheel Chair Transport: Each week and during special worship services volunteers are needed to transport residents from the Bodmann Pavilion to the Chapel. Local area congregations take turns providing a small group for Sunday afternoon transportation
    • Liturgist: Every week five worship services are held on our campus. In addition there is often a special service added each month. Each service provides servant leadership opportunities for volunteers to assist older adults publicly or privately. Reading scripture for the group, holding an older adults song book, making a prayer for a new friend, are weekly volunteer opportunities.
    • Musician: "Music washes from the soul the dust of everyday life." There are many ministry settings in LifeSphere for sharing music with our older adults individual, small group or during public worship. At present we use local volunteers to play our chapel organ and piano during Sunday afternoon Christian worship. Vocal and Instrumental individuals and groups are welcome.
    • Chapel Committee: The chapel committee has been the backbone for spiritual worship at Maple Knoll Village since 1978. This is a working committee that oversees and maintains the chapel. Membership is subject to executive director and committee approval.
    • Deacon of the Day: During each Sunday, special worship, memorial service, Friday Bodmann prayer service, a spiritual care volunteer is host for that event. There are many task that go unseen before, during and after a worship experience. The deacon of the day prepares the chapel or meeting area, greets the congregation, hands out worship aids and troubleshoots the unforeseen to provide an environment for worship to take place.
  3. Compassionate Companion: This program provides a reassuring presence to dying older adults who would otherewise be alone. The companion offers respite to families during a death vigil, assistance to our Hospice providers during the active dying process, and bereavement support to our Maple Knoll staff. Individuals complete an application, training and orientation, and commit to a designated time and date. There are opportunities for continuing education from our Hospice providers. Application for Compassionate Companion
  4. Pastoral Care Volunteers: We are fortunate to have local churches, synagogues, mosques and faith communities that are willing to provide regular pastoral care to their parishioners in Maple Knoll Communities. Often a local church will provide a service for all our older adults in a particular neighborhood. At present there are two churches that provide Bible Studies for the residents at Maple Knoll Village on a weekly basis. We also are blessed to have a local church that provides weekly Roman Catholic mass, and Holy communion to those unable to attend. The Chaplain becomes a laison, coordinating care between an older adult's local church or faith community and, especially during a health crisis. A pastoral care volunteer becomes a partner in providing care between an older adult's church and their home in a Maple Knoll Communities facility.
    • Intergenerational Group Visits: This is a program tailored to the group needs of families and children from area congregations and long term care residents. Chaplains educate, plan and implement spiritual activities with families and children for our Bodmann nursing residents
  5. Chaplain Interns: Our department has had a firm commitment in providing an educational experience for ministerial students to gain competence in aging and spirituality. (cf Education of older adults, Staff and Community. Section: Ministerial Student Internships)
  6. Friendly Visitor: Sometimes individuals desiring to volunteer decide not to perform spiritual care and request an assignment that is more social. Our Knolls of Oxford Volunteer department has opportunities for individuals or groups to provide social visits with our Knolls older adults. Please call 513-782-2420 to Volunteer.