By Natalie Sarrett
“Due to the pandemic, many, many nursing home residents and elderly are confined without human interaction or access to the Bible or the gospel—they can’t even leave their rooms. I feel burdened to do something about it, but it’s a problem that I can’t address alone” said one Send Relief supporter.
So she began reaching out to nursing home chaplains in the area to find out how she should help.
One told her that loneliness was pervasive in his care facility, so she asked her employer if they could partner with another local organization to help.
She contacted the home’s activities director and organized the donation of ten tablets for residents to use to video call their friends and family. She even arranged for professional setup and installment, so the staff and residents didn’t have to worry about configuring the technology. Apps with sermons and devotionals were downloaded onto the tablets, and preparations are being made to create a curriculum of online devotionals.
Both organizations have scheduled video conferencing small groups where they will be reading and discussing sermon materials with anyone interested. They hope to soon start pairing local churches with individual residents to build intentional one-on-one relationships with them—relationships that last beyond the pandemic.
The nursing home’s activities director shared that he had been praying for weeks for help with caring for the residents’ emotional needs, and the residing chaplain had expressed concern that some of the patients’ recent declining health was due to loneliness rather than any physical complications.
“I didn’t even know how to begin that process, but God has been a part of this journey and partnership throughout the whole thing,” this Send Relief supporter said. “God orchestrated all of this and put all the pieces in place for my workplace to help make this happen—we just positioned ourselves to be available to minister.”
One woman responded to those concerns and needs with such enthusiasm, she brought entire organizations and churches along with her, and you can too!
We have compiled a COVID-19 Guide for caring for the elderly during the pandemic. Download it today, and commit to praying for and serving those struggling with loneliness and isolation.