Spiritual WellnessWith senior living communities sheltering in place amid a pandemic, residents of Westminster Communities of Florida found a need for spiritual wellbeing more than ever. As a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, we emphasize wellness of spirit as well as body and mind – all part of our My W Life program for whole-person wellbeing.
For the chaplains who serve our more than 7,000 residents, that has meant getting creative in using technology to tend to their flocks.
Rev. Jeff Parkkila, chaplain at Westminster Winter Park, heard from many residents who couldn’t get to their pastors or their churches. “Many of our colleagues in churches had moved online. So we adapted technology to help us – preach, record and post,” Parkkila said.
Parkkila has been recording sermons three times a week, offering encouragement to residents. On Sunday mornings, he has also scheduled a block of worship services provided by Central Florida churches to re-broadcast on the community’s in-house TV system, with Catholic, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist churches’ services for residents to choose.
With the support of the Resident Lifestyle team, Rev. Steven Bell, chaplain at Westminster Palms in St. Petersburg, has been using YouTube and Facebook as well as the in-house TV system to distribute his message to residents. Bell records a weekly service and posts it on the community’s YouTube channel.
In Jacksonville, Rev. Leslie McCarrick from Westminster Woods on Julington Creek found that she had to make the abrupt shift away from in-person activity – especially to support Assisted Living and Health Center residents at the community. “Rather than do group activities, I offer these on a one to one basis in our Health Center as well as Assisted Living and Memory Care,” McCarrick said. She joins the residents in singing hymns, and if she doesn’t know the words, she finds the hymn on YouTube.
At other communities, the inspiration is to draw on the support of the Resident Lifestyle teams’ focus for each week. Rev. Jan Banker, chaplain at Westminster Shores in St. Petersburg, gives a daily prayer which she writes and videotapes somewhere outside on the beautiful waterfront campus. She often matches what the Resident Lifestyle team is doing. Banker also videotapes weekly worship in the chapel with a resident volunteer accompanist.
Westminster Communities of Florida is pleased to have a chaplain serving to our residents’ spiritual wellbeing at every community. It’s all part of our MyWLife program for wellbeing of body, mind and soul. To learn more, contact us now or call us today to find out more at (800) 948-1881.