Dr. Jane Kuepfer on how spirituality in LTC & Retirement homes can build community

#ElderWisdom | Stories from the Green Bench

Nov 29 2022 • 31 mins

Episode #49 - Spirituality & Aging in Long-Term Care & Retirement homes can build connection and community.  Erin Davis & Doug Robinson welcome Dr. Jane Kuepfer, PhD, MDiv, RP to the green bench to share about her role as the Schlegel Specialist in Spirituality and Aging, her hopes for the future, how spirituality is embraced and supported in all homes, and why.

What is the difference between spiritual and religious?

"Spirituality is the capacity that we all have for experiencing meaning and connection in life." - Dr. Jane Kuepfer

We have come to miss the connection in our communities over the pandemic.  It is important to find that sense of belonging, the feeling of home.

Jane is the Spiritual Life Facilitator at The Village at University Gates in Waterloo.  She shares about her role and what qualities someone who may be interested in joining a team at a long-term care or retirement setting.

How do you approach your day?  "with positivity and honesty … we build each other up"

"Our faith evolves throughout life as we grow and mature.  That doesn't stop when we get to the later years." - Jane Kuepfer

Programs building community through spirituality at University Gates may include a Spiritual Life Gathering, Singing, Storytelling, Flowers, one-on-one discussions and more.

"I'd love to see what's happening in our home as we give permission to talk about mortality and to imagine." - Jane Kuepfer

Dr. Jane Kuepfer is the Schlegel Specialist in Spirituality and Aging with the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging. Join Jane at the 10th International Conference on Aging and Spirituality in June 2023: https://uwaterloo.ca/ageing-spirituality/

“a long-term care home is primarily the home of its residents and is to be operated so that it is a place where they may live with dignity and in security, safety and comfort and have their physical, psychological, social, spiritual and cultural needs adequately met.” - Ontario Long-Term Care Act

"Sometimes spirituality can be the word tacked onto the end of the list of the ways we want to care for people." - Jane Kuepfer

The Residents’ Bill of Rights (The Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils) #10. Every resident has the right to pursue social, cultural, religious, spiritual and other interests, to develop their potential and to be given reasonable assistance by the licensee to pursue these interests and to develop their potential.

"There is such strength in vulnerability, in opening yourself up and telling your story." -Erin Davis

We hear about the Dignity Walk at Schlegel Villages and the power of community as a resident leaves the village for the last time.

What's on your bedside table? Spiritual Resilience: 30 Days to Refresh Your Soul - Robert J. Wicks

“You are never alone. You are eternally connected with everyone.” – Amit Ray

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The Green Bench is a symbol of elder wisdom. Physically or virtually, the bench invites us all to sit alongside a senior, share a conversation, or give and offer advice.

It challenges the stigma seniors face; the ageism still so prevalent in society. It reminds us of the wealth of wisdom our elders offer and in doing so, helps restore them to a place of reverence.

"The greatest untapped resource in Canada, if not the world, is the collective wisdom of our elders." -Ron Schlegel

This podcast is brought to you by Schlegel Villages, retirement & long-term care homes in Ontario, Canada.

#ElderWisdom | Stories from the Green Bench is produced by Memory Tree Productions Learn more about our host, Erin Davis, at erindavis.com Learn more about #ElderWisdom at elderwisdom.ca

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