Hospital news

The elderly seek meaning as well as medical care

By Jenni Frumer, PhD, LCSW, MSEd

Seniors often seek meaning when experiencing illness or dealing with end-of-life issues. A renewed inclusion of spirituality in health care is helping to improve the quality of life for over 3,600 seniors. The MorseLife Health System serves daily in the community and on its 50-acre campus in West Palm Beach.

Although our population is diverse, the MorseLife Health System has a large population of secular and religious Jewish seniors under our care and we have re-engaged in programming at JewishLife, which promotes a culture of increased compassion and caring among workers. health workers and their supervisors.

Emphasis has been placed on wellness through the implementation of programs such as monthly healing circles (Mi Sheberach) and weekly discussions with visiting rabbis, holiday commemorations, celebrations and programs. educational.

Because so many of our patients are also Holocaust survivors, the MorseLife Health System has implemented a NOW for Holocaust Survivors initiative, which specifically identifies and supports survivors who can receive a full range of services at no cost to them or their families.

A recent community project that brought spirituality to older adult residents and younger generations involved painting thousands of butterflies representing the 1.5 million children who were murdered by the Nazis. The project will end with a sculpture on campus to spiritually remind us that butterflies are the symbol of hope, resilience and freedom. By encouraging us to look for meaning in the past for our lives today, it will be a constant reminder to fix the world (Tikun Olam).

Numerous scientific articles support the link between faith and positive health outcomes. Spirituality in healthcare settings is recognized as essential in our interactions with those we serve as well as among our employees.

Caregiver training includes person-centered, trauma-informed care. A trauma-informed approach focuses on voice and choice, psychological, physical and spiritual safety, empowerment, transparency and trustworthiness. These principles are fundamental and common values, an ethic and integrate a philosophy of deep concern and respect for the beliefs of an individual.

By fulfilling our obligation to improve spirituality in health care, we can impact our goal of encouraging better health and well-being for body, mind and soul.

Jenni Frumer is MorseLife NOW Director for the Holocaust Survivors Initiative.


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