In addition to owning and operating compassionate assisted living care, Lutheran Senior Services (LSS) operates 10 income-based Affordable Housing communities in Missouri and Illinois. In many Affordable Housing communities, LSS combines Project Wellness with LSS Faith Community Nurses to expand care to residents. Project Wellness includes telehealth wellness kiosks in several communities where residents can receive blood pressure, weight, blood glucose, and other biometric readings. In these communities, LSS Faith Community Nurses work closely with residents to help decipher these readings and what they mean for residents’ health. It’s this combination of technology and human connection that wholly fulfills residents’ needs.
Faith Community Nurses receive specialized training in counseling with the intent of helping residents cope with issues such as grief, isolation, and depression. They truly address the whole person – socially, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Some Affordable Housing residents may spend most of their time in individual activities, but they line up when the Faith Community Nurse is in so they can get their vitals, talk about how they are feeling, and pray with someone. The spiritual work of the Faith Community Nurses supports the Affordable Housing chaplains in serving our mission of Older Adults Living Life to the Fullest (based on John 10:10).
LSS Faith Community Nurses are special people, and their stories of how they have helped Affordable Housing residents prove how important wellness is to the complete health of a person. Through Project Wellness, these nurses have assisted residents in correcting medication issues, found infections, and perhaps most importantly spent time listening to concerns and praying with residents.
One such conversation stands out when an LSS Faith Community Nurse noticed a regular attendee at the Project Wellness checks looked down. The nurse learned the resident had recently lost a very dear friend. After offering a hug, giving spiritual support, and listening to the resident’s feelings of grief, the nurse and resident parted wishing God’s blessings to one another.
But it’s the words of this LSS Faith Community Nurse that sum up the importance of this work, “There’s something different about actually being with somebody face to face, receiving a hug and just allowing them to talk and be heard. It’s all about human connection and how we navigate through this life together.”