Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Idea - Nursing Home Survey Book

This is a project a church could do to help its members become personally connected with the residents of a particular nursing home.

Phase one - the interview phase

First, write-up a questionaire that asks questions about hobbies, skills, interests, needs, etc.

Get together a group of youth or adults and have them talk individually to residents suggested by the nursing home workers. The questionaire forms should provide for a good day of get-to-know-you conversations and the beginnings of some relationships between the visitors and the residents.

Phase two - compiling a book

Have your visitors fill out the questionaires with the information the residents gave and then put them all into a three-ring binder. This can be kept somewhere accessible. Maybe the back of the sheets could have a log on them in which people from the church could make note of their visits to the resident.

By looking through the book, a church member could pick out a specific resident who might be a good match for them to spend time with. For example, you might share an interest in orchids or discussing politics. You might find out that someone needs letters from relatives read to them and you might have a child who needs some reading practice.

It would tell you who is in most need of being visited. It would help if you want to bring Christmas gifts. Perhaps you want to try to send birthday cards.

Residents who don't find easy matches from the church in the beginning could be featured in a bulletin announcement, highlighting their interests and needs.

OK - This is more work than most of my "easy ideas". Admitted. It would also take some upkeep as people come and go from the nursing home. I think the rewards would be big though. If you are committed to nursing home ministry in your church, this would be an interesting way to approach it.

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