Mount Vernon, NY, November 21, 2017 – Wartburg hosted a free eight-week Spiritual Care Visitor Skills-Based Training Program specifically designed for volunteers. The training program was presented by Caroline Cella, MA, of Embrace Caretaking, in partnership with Wartburg. Twenty participants, from throughout the local communities, successfully completed the program.
“An individual’s spirituality is an integral part of their well-being,” said David J. Gentner, Wartburg President and CEO. “We recognize and welcome the cultural, spiritual and religious diversity of each member of our Wartburg family. Through our newly introduced Spiritual Care Visitor Skills-Based Training Program, we affirm our commitment to provide attentive and compassionate care to all our residents.”
“This new initiative enables us to provide quality one-on-one visits with our residents at Wartburg. Spiritual Care Visitors are especially trained to listen and provide encouragement, support, and hope to those who find themselves experiencing the losses that come with aging,” noted Rev. Carol E. A. Fryer, Wartburg Director of Spiritual Care and Church Relations. “We anticipate that our residents will receive numerous benefits from spending quality time with our volunteer visitors as they develop meaningful relationships. These volunteers will help ensure Wartburg’s mission – to provide ministries of healing and hope nurturing the body, mind and spirit of those entrusted to our care – remains constant.”
The weekly two and half hour classes, held in Wartburg’s Gatz Conference Center, presented in-depth training on topics including: faith sharing, communication skills, aging and illness issues, interactive exercises, discernment and grief. During the final session, trainees visited with residents in Wartburg’s Waltemade Skilled Nursing Facility, utilizing the skills that they had developed during their sessions. Upon completing the training program, participants are qualified to be volunteer Spiritual Care Visitors at Wartburg under the supervision of Pastor Fryer. The Spiritual Care Visitors will be assigned residents with whom they will meet regularly. They will gather as a group with Pastor Fryer for support and debriefing.
“Spiritual care visitors do not replace chaplains,” said Ms. Cella. “They succeed with ongoing supervision and continued education and faith Formation. Their pastoral care skills will increase with practice, as they bring comfort to residents of all faiths at Wartburg.”
Wartburg, located in Westchester County, NY, offers integrated, comprehensive senior residential and healthcare services. Unlike conventional retirement communities, Wartburg provides a wide range of services to both residents living on their beautiful 34-acre campus and people in their own homes. From independent, assisted living and award-winning nursing home care to inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation, home care and adult day care services, their continuing care approach has earned them a trusted reputation in Westchester. Wartburg also provides caregiver support at every stage.
Wartburg was named one of the “Best Nursing Homes in New York State” by U.S. News & World Report for the seventh consecutive year in 2017. In addition, Wartburg received the 2016 Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award from the American College of Health Care Administrators and the 2015 Legacy Award from the Westchester County Chapter of the Links.