Including Nursing Home Administrators, Nurses, Catholic Chaplains, Religious Community Members, home caregivers
One weekend, January-April and a week in May.
Limited It’s glorious to be called to the spiritual care of the elderly - to provide care for their bodies, their spirit and their soul. The right training can either enhance existing skills in long-term care or lead to becoming a pastoral caregiver.
Providing Geriatric Spiritual Care can help residents come to terms with what has happened and what is happening, and how to cope and heal
from emotional distress. Distress is often hard for them to express (this is especially true for those with memory impairments such
as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia). To understand spirituality and how it applies to our lives while being sensitive to the
ethical concerns of today will help give caregivers a working knowledge of how to provide the best spiritual comfort for our elders.
The Geriatric Spiritual Care (GSC) program consists of 65 classroom hours distributed over 4 weekends and a week of clinical hands-on experience under expert guidance.
Weekend #1: January 26-28, 2017 | 15 hours
Participants will explore the journey they have taken through a personal life review. This experience will help participants to better understand the spiritual journey of our elders. We need to keep in mind that their spirituality has grown out of their own individual and unique life experiences. Spiritual activities will be offered that would be appropriate for the elderly in any setting. The most basic activity is that of prayer and its relationship to the needs and expectations of the elderly. Ritual will also be discussed, with emphasis placed on what is liturgically appropriate. The Magesterium and the Sacramental life of the Christian will be explored as it relates to the role and activities of the spiritual care giver.
Weekend #2: February 16-18, 2018 | 15 hours
Almost all individuals experience some form of suffering during their lives; this is especially true for the elderly. While suffering is material in nature, it also has a spiritual dimension with which the geriatric spiritual caregiver needs to become familiar. Participants will research this perspective of suffering in both the Old and New Testaments. Here the emphasis will be on the spiritual value of the Paschal Mystery as personified by Christ and Theological reflections will be the tool. The impact of loss and separation will be explored, and efforts will be made to recognize that grief is a natural process throughout our life cycle. The participant's ability to deal with death precedes their ability to help individuals deal with loss and bereavement. The presenter will explore skills that can be utilized in dealing with death and dying.
Weekend #3: March 16-18, 2017 | 15 hours
This module involves three inter-related components: the dynamics of active listening, the use and response to silence, and a distinction between symptom and problem. The emphasis is on non-verbal communication, which involves body language. It promotes an understanding of the need of the elderly to verbalize and the absence of a need to be preached at. The presentation will attempt to help the participants explore the technique and significance of active listening. Active listening also involves the ability to recognize different types of behavior in people with dementia. Observation, discussion and response mechanisms will be addressed. The distinction between symptom and problem will be made. Signs and symbols will be discussed as a communication tool to elicit response to their Faith Tradition. Efforts in communication skills with family and staff will be explored. Role playing will be utilized as a means of demonstrating this point.
Weekend #4: April 13-15, 2018 | 15 hours
We live in a very complex society and confusion tends to rise over what constitutes appropriate ethical behavior. This module contains three components: practical ethics, comparative religion, and case studies as a source for decision making. First, in covering practical ethics we will attempt to address the question: Why is there confusion over ethics? The presenter will explore the sources of values, ethics, religious ethics, law and etiquette. The distinction between ethics and moral theology will be addressed through a basic presentation of Major Religions. The emphasis will be on the origins and similarities in the major religions. Case studies on ethical issues will be reviewed for use in class. The ethical theories and principles will be used as a support system in providing quality of life. The importance of confidentiality will be stressed. The practices and procedures for ministry will be detailed.
May 13-18, 2017 | 55 hours