In June 2017, the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, aided by the Avila Institute of Gerontology, launched a new website dedicated to palliative care. The Carmelite Sisters’ philosophy has always taught the concept of palliative care and it is the Sisters’ goal that the new website, www.carmelitepalliative.org, help residents, families and caregivers understand palliative care and its importance in providing holistic, person-centered care.
The Avila Institute’s latest webinar co-sponsored with the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) offered valuable advice and wisdom for every spiritual caregiver. Brother Wayne brought his years of expertise in working with people in vocations and working with his fellow brothers from leadership positions to his presentation. Forgiveness is a common theme in the Bible; the concept of forgiveness appears a total of 75 times. However, all too often people do not understand the importance or the ‘how’ of forgiveness. Our model comes from Jesus who often would tell people their sins are forgiven. Two striking passages tell of God’s mercy for His people: Mt. 6:14-24, which reads, “If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your father in Heaven will also forgive you.” Also Mt. 11:28 is a beautiful passage: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
In September 2015, the Avila Institute of Gerontology launched a Membership Program offering monthly in-services as a yearly Subscription. The Membership Program also offered articles, a community forum, and discounts for all AIG educational events. Recently we have renamed the program to the “In-service Subscription Program” and will continue to offer the Program with new in-services and live streaming.
On April 19-20, 2017 the Avila Institute sponsored a 2-day conference on forgiveness for those who administer to spiritual health of those they care for. The conference was well received and had approximately 50 participants in attendance. The conference included 9 hours of presentations as well as time for reflection on the beautiful grounds at St. Teresa’s Motherhouse which is located on the shore of the Hudson river overlooking the Catskill Mountains.
The world of long-term care is changing at an increasingly rapid pace. Medicaid funding for home care has been increased, at the expense of long-term care funding, in order to avoid a monumental economic shortfall in senior health care. This has resulted in older, more acute seniors transferring to our long-term care facilities for shorter periods of time. Concurrently, an economic upturn has made recruiting and retaining care staff more difficult as the traditional pool of direct care workers we draw from find higher paying, less stressful jobs in other industries.
The College of Saint Rose of Albany, NY has been sending social workers to the Carmelite Sisters’ Motherhouse for over a decade to enhance their education on the care for the elderly. Each year, AIG’s director and Saint Rose faculty collaborate with the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm to lead a two-day workshop to teach the students about end-of-life issues, dementia and the admission process in long-term care. As millennials will soon become the dominant generation in America’s workforce, it is important to help them understand and carry on the mission of compassionate, person-centered care held by the Carmelites.
On March 6-8, 2017 the Avila Institute of Gerontology sponsored a conference for leadership and mission. As staff retention and hiring has been progressively becoming more difficult, we focused on staff retention and talent acquisition, also including sessions on reflective leadership, ethics and overcoming fears of change.
The Avila Institute and the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) began the 2017 cosponsored webinar series with “The Future Shift of Dementia Research.” Presented on February 14th by AIG faculty Alfred W. Norwood, MBA, MS, the webinar had over 300 viewers and is now available to watch for FREE on our website.
As you may have noticed the Avila Institute of Gerontology is passionate about palliative care. Not only did we work with the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) to create a palliative care education program for the facilities sponsored, co-sponsored or served by the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, we are working to help all implement successful palliative care programs.
AIG was proud to cosponsor another webinar in an ongoing collaboration with the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO.) The webinar, called “Living at Home- Thriving at Home,” aired on November 15th, 2016 and was presented by Dayna Larson-Hurst to approximately 200 live listeners.
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