DID YOU KNOW . . . Senior Chaplain Program

What Are Senior Chaplains?
The Senior Chaplain program is designed to give resident purpose. Specifically this program helps former pastors, church workers, or people with a sense of spiritual vocation to live out that call even as residents in our care.

What Do Senior Chaplains do?
Senior chaplains have served in a variety of programs throughout our centers. At some facilities senior chaplains have led invocations at center-wide observances such as Veterans’ Day, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and National Day of Prayer. Senior chaplains have also served in roles such as event planners and featured speakers. In other places, residents may serve as prayer intercessors with residents and stakeholders. Senior chaplains also serve as eyes and ears attuned to the spiritual needs of residents that may not have been observed by the Director of Spirituality.

What Needs Do Senior Chaplains Meet In A Center?
Senior Chaplains helps to enhance residents’ sense of purpose and feeling of connection to their spiritual call. They also supports the Chaplain/ Director of Spirituality in multiplying their efforts to meet the spiritual needs of those they serve.

Who Else Is involved With Senior Chaplains In A Center?
Senior Chaplain serves as a partnership between Spirituality and Quality of Life to identify and support Senior Chaplains. Programs can vary in size. From one person to a team of ten the size of the Senior Chaplain Corps may vary by each center.  For example, Chaplain Mike Blome’ employs a corps of two senior chaplains—both whom have also served as resident council presidents.

What Advice Do You Have For People Who Would Like To Begin Having Senior Chaplains In Their Center?
For those considering starting a new program, it is recommended reviewing current resident rolls to determine if there may be residents that possess qualities needed for such a program. It is also recommended that centers start out slow and be prepared for setbacks due to fluctuations in resident mix.  Remember to design your program to utilize the talents in your potential candidates in addition to providing training for those who participate. Resources and support are available through the Department of Spirituality.

How Do You Start?
For more information, or to request a Senior Chaplain Program starter kit, please contact the Spirituality Department at spiritualitydept@signaturehelathcarellc.com

Special thanks to  Chaplain Mike Blomé at Signature HealthCare at St. Peter Villa for his contributions and efforts in this wonderful program.



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