Residents need religious access

By: 
NLJ Staff

Residents need religious access

To the editor:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” 

I am writing to respectfully question whether this amendment is being upheld for our senior citizens and church members in long-term care facilities. I am concerned that members of my church family and elderly citizens of faith in our community and republic are not being given the opportunity to receive spiritual and pastoral care which gives them hope. 

Are care facilities making an effort to work with pastors to reach out and provide the vital hope giving care? 

I know that cherished members of my own church family have not been able to have visits with their pastor or receive The Lord’s Supper for over a year. I cannot imagine for myself or my parents the distress of not being able to pray with my pastor or receive
communion for a full year. To us, our faith is our life. 

Surely our local Weston County Manor and long-term facilities can provide a safe means for pastoral visitation and facilitate the opportunity for their residents to receive individual communion from their pastor without putting others at risk. 

I believe the Patient Bill of Rights guarantees the right to quality care and respectful treatment without discrimination on grounds of religion. 

Please provide the opportunity for the spiritual care of our local citizens and church members in long-term care facilities. They should not be deprived of this right at this stage in their life just because they cannot stand up and voice their need in this time of isolation and potential despair.

 

— Rose Baldwin

 

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