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Article

Supporting Spirits in Changing Circumstances: Pandemic Lessons for Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes

by 1,2
1
Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6, Canada
2
Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6, Canada
Academic Editor: Denise Starkey
Religions 2022, 13(7), 584; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070584
Received: 18 May 2022 / Revised: 17 June 2022 / Accepted: 21 June 2022 / Published: 23 June 2022
The pandemic of 2020–2022 brought both disruption to, and increased need for, spiritual care in long-term care and retirement homes. This paper reports and reflects upon the experiences of spiritual care providers (SCPs) in these settings in Ontario, Canada as they each endeavored to adapt to their circumstances. Qualitative data were gathered from 27 participants through a variety of means, including natural focus group opportunities, email responses to questions, and in-depth virtual interviews. This study learned that during the pandemic, SCPs creatively adapted the care they provide, while finding it challenging to meet needs for touch, community, mental health care, and processing grief. SCPs spoke with confidence about their role as a listening and supportive presence, for team and family reassurance, as well as for residents. Opportunities to personalize spiritual care using technology, and the value of small, intimate gatherings were realized, along with the value of employing an in-house SCP who truly gets to know residents and can continue to creatively adapt to meet changing needs in changing circumstances. Recommendations are made for spiritual care provision that is resilient through outbreak restrictions into the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: spiritual care; long-term care; retirement; pandemic; chaplain spiritual care; long-term care; retirement; pandemic; chaplain
MDPI and ACS Style

Kuepfer, J. Supporting Spirits in Changing Circumstances: Pandemic Lessons for Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes. Religions 2022, 13, 584. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070584

AMA Style

Kuepfer J. Supporting Spirits in Changing Circumstances: Pandemic Lessons for Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes. Religions. 2022; 13(7):584. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070584

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kuepfer, Jane. 2022. "Supporting Spirits in Changing Circumstances: Pandemic Lessons for Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes" Religions 13, no. 7: 584. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13070584

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