Are you caring for an older loved one and feel stuck, guilty or alone? Or all the above? Self-care is necessary when you are physically, emotionally and socially affected. Your spirituality can be a helpful resource and provide a sense of connectedness you may be missing. Executive Director of Spiritual Life, Rev. Howard L. West, has helped individuals recognize and appreciate the caregiving journey and find more positive, helpful ways to manage the commitment and sacrifice that benefit the loved one and the caregiver.
As part of our "Leading the Way for YOU" educational video speaker series, Rev. West guides families on topics such as:
- Dealing better with being caregivers through spirituality
- Addressing secondary losses: loss of independence, being productive, self esteem, individualism and social connections
- Helping you manage overwhelming emotions and frustration as a caregiver
- Overcoming guilt you may feel when doing something to take care of yourself
Note: these resources are available for our not-for-profit sister community, Ecumenical Retirement Community as well.
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Executive Director of Spiritual Life, the Rev. Howard L. West, III; M.Ed., M.Div., finds his work at Country Meadows and Ecumenical Retirement Community extremely satisfying. "I enjoy helping our residents tap into or develop their faith and spirituality and find something meaningful that gives them direction and strength to deal with the challenges of aging," he says. West believes spirituality is one dimension of life that continues to grow even as physical capabilities diminish. He feels especially called to provide ministry to seniors as a way of showing appreciation for older family members who helped raise him following his mother’s death when he was in his early teens. In his role, West provides leadership and supervision to promote the spiritual well-being of all residents by honoring each person’s individual spirituality and religious traditions. He oversees a team of chaplains, and develops Spiritual Life services including religious services, pastoral care, end-of-life care and various spiritual life groups. He encourages his team to celebrate varied religious traditions and lead observances of these varied customs. In addition, he preaches at campuses’ religious services and provides pastoral care to co-workers coping with grief or loss at work or personal challenges at home.