Caring for the Spiritual Side of Your Residents

Elder Source Senior Ministries Can Help

spiritual needs of seniors
Elder Source Ministries can help activity directors meet the spirtual needs ot seniors. Getty Images

Caring for the spiritual side of Your residents can be a challenge. How can the activity director help you continue the spiritual side of your life? Elder Source Senior Ministries (ESSM) can help.

Imagine for a minute that you are MelleBella Owens, a lifelong church goer. Your life has revolved around Sunday choir, Bible study Wednesday every evening, and getting together with congregation members to cook up meals.

Then one day a car runs a red light, you are seriously injured and six months later you are a resident of an assisted living community. You enjoy visits from church members, but it’s not enough.

Stan Means, President of Elder Source Senior Ministries (ESSM), has been providing resource for activity directors since 1979.

“The primary focus of ESSM is an outreach to senior in care centers. Working through activity directors and chaplains, we offer hope and purpose through a variety of audio/visual materials. These materials are available free, as supplies last, by going to our website and completing an application,” Means said.

“The ESSM program is of particular benefit to long term care residents who are room-bound, but also ambulatory residents in both skilled and assisted living also benefit. Our most favorite resources are our hymns and music videos.”

ESSM materials that can be used bedside or with a group of residents include large print hymn booklets with hymn history, as well as a scripture and devotion for each hymn and a CD of the hymns.

“We also encourage churches in a five step plan of senior ministry. Those five steps are:

  1. In-reach - help the seniors in your church who have no help.
  2. Out-reach - do the same for your senior neighbor.
  3. Adopt a care center as outreach of your church.
  4. Supply it with a volunteer chaplain.
  5. Assist another church to do the same.

    We also encourage churches to engage by conducting a Grandparent's Day offering for Elder Source, “Means said. He said activity directors and chaplains have made the following comments about ESSM:

    I am so excited about all the new stuff that is going on, the web site with downloadable materials, the CD's with sermons is something our residents will love. We use your materials every week, you have supplied us with spiritual materials that have made a difference in the lives of our residents. One of our residents always wants to use the phone to call God, we gave her the phone that reads scripture to her and now she can call God when she wants to and she loves it...even though some of the residents may have dementia, they never forget their faith...and we appreciate all that you have given us.

    Thank you so much for continuing to send the Elder Source newsletters. This one is truly inspiring. I especially was moved by the article about Ned, the World War II veteran who understood the condition of our world. Your understanding of the value of our senior friends and that there is meaningful work that they can do such as to pray, to write notes, and to share their stories, is so very much on target.

    Further information about ESSM is available at: Stan Means, Elder Source Senior Ministries, PO Box 4848, Greenville, SC 29608. Phone: 1-864-292-6592.

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