Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association

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Helping Those who are Grieving

The document linked below is written by Sondra Weinzierl, Region 3 member, that originally appeared in the 2017 congregation newsletter.  She offered to share this on our web site for other Parish/Faith Community Nurses to use in their congregations. Thank you Sondra!

Helping Those Who are Grieving

Healing Services

A Service to Honor Caregiving and Care Givers  developed by Phyllis Bruce 

This is a very meaningful service to offer.  The importance and often times stressful  parts of being a caregiver, whether as a layperson or professional, are often either taken for granted or ignored by the church.   If you have a Visitation Ministry, Befrienders program, or something similar, these people also need to be recognized for their service.  In my church we have also included a time of sharing challenges and joys of caregiving.  Click on the title to see the sample service.  

JOY- Jesus, Others, and You
Having Balance in your Life

Linda Graffius, Faith Community Nurse and Coordinator of Care and Health Ministry at Luther Memorial Church, Erie, PA

As you know, there is a huge initiative being conducted about fall prevention for seniors and the elderly. I became inspired to conduct a class here at my church, Luther Memorial, in Erie, PA. I knew that I would need help formatting and conducting this class, so I contacted the Physical Therapy department at a local university, Gannon. The head of that department along with a Physical Therapist from the Visiting Nurse Association and I met to discuss the possibility of having class. They were very excited. We set up a 6 week program, consisting of 3 classes in November and 3  in December. The attendance was anywhere from 8 to 16, with participants ranging in age from 60 to 90. It was wonderful to have such experts as instructors. We did not advertise this a balance, fall prevention class, hence the name JOY, and some participants said they wouldn’t have attended if we had. Many people think that a fall won’t happen to them. The class schedule was as follows:

  • Week 1: Assessment of participants, including vital signs, physical ability assessments including posture and strength and balance. The subjects for the following classes were also discussed.
  • Week 2: The Tale of Miss Penny Posture and The Kitchen Sink Purse: This class presented posture pitfalls and exercises to correct them we also weighed the purses (with everything but the kitchen sink in them) of the women in attendance and talked about how detrimental a heavy purse is to you balance. Of course, the men felt left out.
  • Week 3: These Boots Were Made for Walking: The Physical Therapy graduate students helped with modeling of the proper and improper shoes
  • and boots to wear. We also talked about vision and falls.
  • Week 4: One Pill Two Pill Red Pill Blue Pill: A church member, who is a Pharmacist, came in and talked about the importance of the proper handling of medications, their side effects and record keeping. We also discussed, 8 Glasses a Day Keeps the Falls Away and the importance of keeping hydrated as you age.
  • Week 5: Who Pulled the Rug Out From Under Me? And Who Is Afraid of the Big Bad Fall? We talked about the danger of throw rugs, pets that get in our way and safety measures for the home. And, how the fear of falling can interfere with your balance.
  • Week 6: Re-Assessment and Program Evaluation: We did not have to do a complete re-assessment on everyone because many were within the normal parameters. The re-assessments that were done did show improvement in the participants. We also discussed what the participants learned to keep them safe in their homes for a longer period of time.

Each week a gift was given to the participants, i.e. night lights, flashlights, a magnifying glass, stress balls. They were also given a list of exercises for Good Posture=Good Balance=Less Falls.
The evaluations completed by the participants showed excellent satisfaction results.

Last updated: 05/18/2021

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