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Spiritual Care: Support on Your Journey

April 26, 2018

Emerald-Crest-Bell-JMP_8919-web.jpgWhat does spiritual care mean to you? For many of us, it is a force that can nurture the soul during times when we are joyful as well as when we face vulnerability and sorrow. At Augustana Care, we believe spiritual care is about honoring your spirit and your story. Our spiritual care services are available to help when needed—and to worship with residents and celebrate special occasions and holidays.

As William Bruce said when remembering his mother’s experience at Augustana Care, “spiritual care is every bit as important as physical care.” We at Augustana Care wholeheartedly agree with this statement and understand when you’re living through a loss, illness, or injury, you need more than physical care. You need an attentive listener who asks questions to help you sort through your thoughts and emotions. When difficult care and treatment decisions need to be made, we know you and your loved ones will also need support. When approaching tough decisions, we believe spiritual care plays an essential role. And when family members are looking for reassurance and guidance, Augustana Care offers support groups for caregivers as well as one-to-one spiritual care. 

If you’re dealing with a condition like Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia, it can be difficult to participate fully in daily life because memory is compromised. That’s why Augustana Care’s Emerald Crest community uses a sensory worship service to unlock memories through music, activities and props. Our chaplains are also trained in alternative treatments such as guided meditation, chair yoga, hand massage and breath work, all of which are powerful tools for healing. 

Chaplain Lette Gamble has been leading sensory worship services at Emerald Crest for several years and has seen how positively the services are received by residents and families. Now, Chaplain Gamble is training staff at other Augustana Care locations to conduct services.

“The words of a long-familiar liturgy, hymns or scriptures can transcend memory changes,” says Chaplain Gamble. She trained staff members to conduct the service at six Augustana Care communities in the past year. Plans are to expand the service to even more locations in the future.

AC_Chaplain_Nancy_Carlson.jpgUnderstanding the need for memory care is increasing, Augustana Care director of spiritual care Chaplain Nancy Carlson strives to give more people the opportunity to experience spiritual moments that engage them and awaken memories daily.

As spiritual care celebrates what we all share, it can also respond to the needs and experiences of a few. Augustana Care has developed a special program of spiritual care to support veterans and others who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other related diagnoses.

At Augustana Care, we are inspired by our residents and honored to provide spiritual care to support the journeys of those we serve. Augustana Care’s vision is a community where spiritual care is available for everyone to nourish the soul with an openness and deep respect for all faith traditions. Fostering a meaningful spiritual relationship enhances the lives of individuals, increasing vitality and growth while reducing fear and isolation.  

Augustana Care provides spiritual care that responds to a wide variety of needs, traditions and preferences. To learn how spiritual care continues to grow and evolve at Augustana Care visit our website at www.augustanacare.org or call 612-238-5283