A Sacred Trust
“Whatever you did for one of the least of these…you did it for me.” (Matthew 25:40, NIV)
We honor memory impaired residents’ dignity by offering options that free them to feel cared for, happy and secure, when they can no longer manage the activities of daily living. We hold this ministry as a sacred trust, which connects us with John Wesley’s compassionate care for the most vulnerable and Jesus’ mandate to “care for the least of these.”
Providing spiritual care is a key way that we uphold that trust. In addition to offering individual pastoral visits at all full-service communities, chaplains at United Methodist Communities at Bristol Glen and at The Shores lead “Music and Memories” services and hymn sings which use favorite hymns, Psalms, and creeds to engage residents’ faith memories. It’s exciting to see people “come alive” by singing Amazing Grace or by reciting the 23rd Psalm or the Apostles’ Creed.
Memory Support residents United Methodist Communities at The Shores similarly draw upon that reservoir by ringing in the Swinging Bell Choir, which performs in worship monthly and gives an annual concert. While at Bristol Glen, Nicole Kaufmann, a seminary intern, invited MSR residents to be “Prayer Partners.” She observed, “Praying for the needs of others gave them an increased sense of purpose and was calming and uplifting.”
We are proud of how we care for persons living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. We honor their individuality and make vibrant, if brief, connections with them in the moment, by engaging their spiritual memory. Touching their reservoir of faith energizes them and us with the reassuring power of God’s love; a sacred trust indeed.