Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all (2 Cor 4:16-17).
- Moms days at Prelude
- The Impact of Pastoral Care at Prelude
- The privilege to say thank you.
Alzheimer’s is not a pretty disease, at Prelude mom was given dignity not because she always behaved perfectly but because she was created in the image of God. The months prior to her placement at Prelude were extremely challenging. We looked at several places during a crisis period and knew immediately that Prelude was the place we wanted mom to live for as many days as she had left. The staff we met with felt different, they felt genuinely compassionate. Moms world became increasingly smaller and Prelude offered an opportunity for her community to expand again. When we moved her in, she was accepted completely. We felt a welcoming sense of being with a new family. She was gently welcomed to participate when she was able and in the manner she was able. Not only was she welcomed, but we were welcomed. There was no external pressure for mom to conform when her brain made that impossible, but she was accepted unconditionally and when she was able to be present and able to participate there was joy. She was given space when she needed it and always treated with value and compassion. Prelude caregivers understood how important it was for my mom to do the things she felt were her jobs and allowed her to do those to the best of her ability. Pastor Steve was a consistent presence, he served in creative spiritual and practical ways. He connected with mom as well as with our family. The relationship he forges with residents and family is, in part, from his full-time work in the memory cottage and being a consistent presence as he not only provides spiritual guidance, but also helps at meal times, sweeps the floors and countless other tasks. He recognizes the unique window to meaningfully impact and encourage the residents living at Prelude with dementia and their families. He is intentional and uniquely gifted; it is his calling. I was and am appreciative of his work.
As spring began appearing at Prelude, mom continued her lifelong habit of gravitating to the warmth of the sun and relaxing in a chair, basking in the sunshine with her hands folded and her eyes shut. She wasn’t always at peace, but that always brought her peace. It was a joy to see the disease didn’t change this. Even when the invasion of Covid19 entered our world in early spring and restrictions were put in place, the staff facilitated video calls and sent me photos I value of mom engaging in her new chapter at Prelude, I felt like she was in caring hands and she was cherished.
When mom was in crisis again, during her last two weeks of life and needed to leave her cottage, I felt supported in a way that was overwhelmingly amazing. During moms last weeks on this earth, when she wasn’t physically at Prelude, they responded and encouraged me as if she were still a part of them. My interactions with Prelude were a gentle part of my mom’s bumpy last months on earth. Those memories still fill me with gratitude. Mom was only at Prelude for 2 months, but they were an important two month, not only for her but for us as a family. We felt cared for and we felt like we belonged. They lightened our heavy load. We are immensely grateful for Prelude and rest in Gods assurance from Ps 73
“Yet I am always with you. You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel and afterword you will take me into glory”.
The pastoral team at Prelude is a great asset! Not only do they provide someone for residents and staff to talk to they also help keep a sense of normality for many of our residents. Providing a weekly chapel service along with daily Bible Studies allows our residents to continue to have an active and engaging part in their faith. I’ve also seen the pastors be great with calming residents and being a sense of peace around the cottages. Many faces light up when the residents hear the Pastor is on their way to do a service.
Clarence came to us with a gentle smile and a deep faith. One afternoon we sat watching the birds. He turns to me and says, “You can learn much from birds. When they fly, they take turns leading so that the burden is shared. They sing to tell each other stories. The fly and play. And when the geese fly in formation the birds in the end are giving wind power to the birds in the front so that they can lead better. That’s what we do as parents. We give strength to our children so they can lead.”
Clarence was a father of 8 kids! And those children ADORED him. His youngest son lived much of his career traveling and living around the world. This son called and scheduled a Sunday afternoon in the chapel with his father so that his children (ages 6 to 13) could have some time with “grandpa.” I asked the family if they wished me to leave them alone or facilitate the visit. The son said, “My wife and I wish to video our children with their Grandpa. Will you help the children visit with my dad?”
I pulled out big blow up dice, a corn hole game, magnet games and balloons. For an hour Clarence played these games with his grandchildren, laughing and calling them “honey and sweetie”, telling them they are wonderful and so good at the games. I asked the kids to tell their grandpa about what they do for fun. Clarence told them “how wonderful! You are so special. I love you.” For more than an hour the children got to have a grandpa day while mom and dad took turns recording the afternoon on their phones.
Clarence’s son packed up his family, got them out to the car, and slipped back in to Prelude WBL and said, “Thank you. My kids will always know, because of this afternoon, what an amazing dad I had because today they got to see the amazing grandpa my much older nieces and nephews got to see.”
I have been an employee for Prelude Homes and Services since May of 2019. My position with the company is an Engagement Coordinator for our Resident’s.
I am writing to share how I feel the Pastoral Team makes an impact for everyone at Prelude, the team of employees, loved ones living through this difficult time of their families living their final days in our care, and MOST important the Residents themselves.
There are so many things that our team of Pastors does to make an impact in all of our lives within Prelude, they have daily Bible Studies, weekly Chapel services, independent 1:1 interactions with residents as they often need some personal spiritual care or comfort outside of a larger group, Comfort and support for the Caregivers, Support groups for our families and they are there any time of day to provide the families bedside memorials at their end of live.
I cannot express how much this Team has impacted not only my life in the last 17 months, I have had the honor to watch the amazing relationships and support they provide to all the work and worship with.
This Team is a HUGE part of Prelude and I Thank God every day that I have them all in my life and have their support within our Cottages to help the families and residents.
Every now and then, as a pastor, we get to meet people who indirectly changed our lives because of the way God called them into living God’s call.
At Prelude we take seriously the Life Legacy document we ask families to fill out. This also means listening to the family as they tell us about their loved one and the life that person lived. We are so grateful for the opportunity to hear the powerful stories of faith and the varied ways God calls his people to impact God’s world.
When families invite us into this precious and sacred space of sharing, I am moved and so thankful. On one occasion, I was touched to realize that the civic life of one such servant directly impacted my life, my neighborhood, and my children. Having the opportunity to thank someone whose career changed the course of my life was an honor. When I shared exactly how that person had impacted my life, his wife took her husband’s hand in his dying hours and said, “Honey, to you God says, ‘Well done, servant of God, well done. Go well, my love.”