Today, Where Does One Go To Find "The Least of My Brethren?" Well, you could certainly try a senior home or a specialty unit caring for those afflicted with dementia Not every place is the same, but in too many, just try to imagine an existence where good intentions abound, however, the ravages of failing health, confusion, loneliness, abandonment, extreme boredom, and the realities of an "institutionalized" life weigh quite heavily. Issues of inadequate staffing, neglect, and even serious elder abuse, often abound. Lastly, and as a nightmarish surprise to some, these deplorable conditions also extend to even the more "presentable" assisted living facilities. Just click the links for the stories. And, not just an American problem. Canada has its problems too...
Very Quickly...The Plain Facts Are These...
67,000+ Senior Facilities Exist in the United States. This Figure Includes All the Various Types of "Long Term Care" Facilities, i.e. Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Communities, Rehabilitation Centers, and Hospice Care
The 67,000 Facilities Are Currently Attempting To Serve About 9,000,000 Souls for the Time That They Have Remaining on Earth. A Shocking Percentage of the 9 Million Seniors Living in Facilities Receive Very Few Personal Visits, If Any
If Even Imaginable, Most of the 9 Million Seniors Have More "Screen Time" Than The Average American Teenager; The Television Is Their "Default" Activity, Companion, Friend, and Keeper. Sadly, When Asked, "What Are You Watching?" Most Seniors Don't Know. They've "Glazed Over" Quite Some Time Ago. Put Simply, Television is Simply Not That Interesting and It Does Not Truly Engage One's Mind or Spirit Day After Day After Day.
While Seniors With Various Types of Dementia Often Can Not Remember The Recent Past And Can Have Emotional Issues Related To This, Seniors Quite Often Can Vividly Remember The Distant Past, Most Especially, Music From Childhood and Those Happier Times!
Even Many of Those Seniors Who Have Lost Their Speaking Ability, Ability to Socialize, Their Personal Mobility And The Control Of Their Bodily Functions, Can Still Be Moved Deeply By Music. Especially, Music That Ties Back To Their Core Beliefs in God, And His Promises of Peace, Hope, Love, and Salvation.
Sadly, in Our "Happy Holidays" Culture, Today, Many Facilities DO NOT Even Attempt to Regularly Address the Spiritual Nature and the Related Real Needs of Their Residents. Not Acknowledging Spiritual Needs For Connection, Does Not Make Those Feelings and Needs Go Away! Rather, It Creates A Literal Vacuum of Desolation...
"Unfortunately, it seems that most facilities unfortunately will not budget or pay for any type of spiritual activity or religious observance. Similarly, they will not seek and find volunteer resources either.
You can get about all the bingo, arts and crafts, and TV that you want but, if you either need or want to do something deeper, hopefully, you have someone to come and pick you up and sign you out. Also, somewhat strangely if I may say,
most churches in a community will choose not to be a shepherd of almost any kind to these elderly lambs who are in great need of pastoral care in their final days."
Right now, however, with your help, we can do better! This is why we've created the "We Are The Branches" Christian Outreach Program...to both reach and engage America's beloved senior citizens with the love of the Lord Jesus.
And Now Proudly Announcing...
The "We Are The Branches....He Is the Vine" Campaign
Inspired By Matthew 25:35-39
In addition to praying for our institutionalized elderly, I hope you'll join me in trying to actually reach each and every one needing to hear God's word and feel His divine presence. While it is certainly laudable, appropriate and nice to render aid to those in "far away places" with our missionary efforts, it is also appropriate to both recognize and remember the needs that we have right here at home....the needs of "our" parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and people who did their best to shape the very communities and organizations in which we all grew up.
We Are The Branches...He Is the Vine is a national level program aimed at providing enriching, faith-based and enjoyable Sunday programs to "facility-bound" seniors across the United States. Through donations from earthly "angels" like you, we work through facility management, activity directors, directors of nursing, and others to offer brand new, no cost resources for enjoyable, comforting and inspiring faith-based programs....everywhere across the United States.
With your generous help, budget will no longer be a barrier (or excuse) for facilities! Not surprisingly, many, many "on the floor" staff people are quite aware of the spiritual needs of their residents. These people will gratefully welcome these new resources AND make a place for them in their weekly schedules. Best of all, everywhere, and I mean everywhere, there are people who literally cry at the joy of hearing their favorite hymn after oftentimes many, many years. Traditional hymns, with inspirational and all original arrangements, are the nursing home patients' "air freshener for the soul!"
The old, traditional hymns....they're truly like dear old friends to the elderly. They greet them with smiles, joy, love, and that deep sense of inner peace that comes from only higher connections. If you maybe haven't yet had the chance to see for yourself, here's what that beloved church music can do for even those perhaps with the greatest loads to bear.