IRONTON – Best known for providing quality, Christian care to the aging, The Baptist Home ministers to approximately 262 residents in its four long-term care facilities and retirement communities in Missouri. The campuses are located in Arcadia Valley (Ironton), Chillicothe, Ozark and now Ashland.
But perhaps fewer people realize that The Baptist Home is also building partnerships with mission organizations around the world.
These global partnerships provide leadership, consultation and training opportunities to our global brothers and sisters. Our mission is to “reflect God’s love to aging humanity.” The Global Aging Mission’s ministry of The Baptist Home, in cooperation with The Baptist Home Foundation, now provides resources to elder care facilities and staff in twelve countries worldwide.
In August, at the invitation of Puerto Rican Baptists, a Baptist Home staff team traveled to San Juan to answer the call. The team provided Validation Therapy (VT) training and consultation services. Participants were community healthcare leaders, caregivers and pastors interested in the elderly there. Although Puerto Ricans are US citizens, they still struggle to recover with little resources from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria. The team also visited two nursing homes, gifted training materials on aging to the evangelical seminary, and led two sessions in the practical application of VT techniques.
VT is a method of communicating with aging individuals suffering from confusion or memory loss. Alzheimer’s related dementias or other dementias are devastating. VT was developed by Naomi Feil, MSW. VT seeks to respect the aging person’s time frame and autonomy. It uses what, where, when and how questions, never why, to explore the meaning of all behavior. VT is used by staff on The Baptist Home campuses as opposed to the conventional Reality Therapy methods. It is the most requested training globally.
In October, Baptist Home Arcadia Valley Administrator, Sherri Snider, a certified VT instructor, will be traveling to Moldova. The Moldovans have arranged for training in five locations. One of these is the national Baptist university. Sixty social work students and community healthcare workers will be in attendance. Partners from Ukraine will also participate.
We also continue to join with churches and community leaders to reach those in country, but outside our doors, with ministries to aging veterans and homebound seniors. This work is called Veterans Care Ministry and Assistive Care Ministry programs respectively.
Wherever we can, however we can, The Baptist Home is committed to serving the frailest of those among us. For 106 years we have provided the utmost respect, compassion and Christ-like love. With this level of experience, we believe we are called:
• To Care for aging adults in Missouri and surrounding areas by offering retirement communities founded on Christian values.
• To Serve aging humanity globally by responding to needs-based requests from those seeking our assistance.
• To Lead by sharing our experiences and time-earned insights with those who would benefit.
To learn more about VT or Global Aging Missions, visit our website at www.thebaptisthome.org or find us on Facebook, where you can see a glimpse into the lives of those we serve! Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support of this wonderful ministry.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Becky Barton serves as director of communications for The Baptist Home.)