|What to Expect in a Nursing Home Atmosphere|
By Robert and Barbara Tourville
Be a team player. Be a co-worker with the Activities Director and the staff who will gather the residents for the services.
Maintain a Christ like attitude – humble, helpful, courteous, joyful, etc.
Going by two's allows one to "run interference". The second team member can bring any residents' physical needs or displays of uncontrolled mental or emotional behavior to the Activities Director/staff's attention, if necessary.
Expect possible opposition and disturbances. For example, banging on the piano (if left open) or other objects, talking or yelling out loud, disagreeing with you, walking around during the services, etc. A smile, a prayer and tolerance go a long way. If other residents are disturbed, a staff member may be called to re-direct the person.
Use appropriate humorous incidents, either as ice-breakers or illustrations. Keep such items in a file, including anecdotal emails from Christian friends.
Realize we need to present the Gospel in a simple, clear, anointed and loud-enough voice with the elderly person's conditions and needs in mind.
Use music, if possible. Inquire ahead of time if a piano or organ is available if you desire to use one. Today's elderly will probably remember the hymns best and may request favorites. Ask if the Home has hymnals or songbooks for use with the residents; otherwise, have large-print songs available.
Capitalize on the season and holidays by using large, adult-oriented visual aids with your presentation. Christmas and Easter provide ideal opportunities to emphasize Christ. The Holy Spirit can provide creativity as you seek His anointing.