- Category: Notable Heroes in Health Care
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For the 250 older adults who call Clement Manor home, their much-needed sense of community is significantly challenged by social distancing measures that put their mental and spiritual well-being at risk during an already trying time.
Clement Manor’s Pastoral Care team recognized the toll social distancing was taking on residents soon after the pandemic’s onset. Led by director of pastoral care and mission Alice Hatzenbeller, Chaplains Frather Bill Stanfield, Sister Nancy Sell, Karyl Daluga and Sharon Hanson developed fresh approaches to the in-person ministry inherent in the organization’s mission.
When Clement Manor’s chapel closed to residents, the team created spiritual growth resource packets that replaced opportunities to gather and draw encouragement and comfort. Each packet helps residents draw strength from their spiritual beliefs and cope with increased isolation. The packets, which are delivered each week, contain scripture readings, inspirational quotes, poetry, perspectives on social justice, illustrations and prayers.
The team also ensures chapel services are offered daily through Clement Manor’s in-house cable channel. The channel is also used to provide inspirational music and time for reflection. The team created a special play list that was streamed on Election Day and additional offerings were planned for Advent and Christmas.
When surveyed, more than 80% of respondents indicated they read the packets regularly and find them very helpful. Residents often express gratitude to the team for the extra effort.
Nothing can replace the warmth of a hug or holding someone’s hands to pray. But, for now, the masked Pastoral Care team members visit residents regularly on the phone and at a safe distance to strengthen connections and spirits through empathetic listening, caring words of encouragement.