Church Nursing Home President: Pay Attention to Two Things

By Josiah Li, September 06, 2018 15:09 PM

Some residents of a church nursing home in Changchun, Jilin

Since its founding day, President Zhang has run a church nursing home in Changchun, Jilin's capital, for nine years.

The nursing home started with two goals: providing a place for senior believers to spend the rest of their life and worship God together and an opportunity for Christians to practice their faith.  

After converting to Christianity in 1997, Zhang kept serving in the church choir. Recommended by a pastor, she started to work in the home in 2011. Recalling the past, she said, "It's not easy to serve the elderly. Love is not enough, you need patience and to bear the physical and psychological pressure."

Knowing risk management 

Zhang said that a home for the aged could not operate without risk management. "Common risks among the elderly are fall injuries, empyroses, falling out of bed, choking, and runaway elders. The most common risk is fall injuries." She added. 

When a new senior wants to move into the home, the staff will sign a risk management agreement with the elder and his/her family. It states that elderly people who can look after themselves should bear the consequences of fall injuries due to their personal actions. It is impossible for 20 staff workers to provide 24-hour care to over 70 elderly residents. Bad risk management may lead to paying compensations for elderly people who have accidents, which the break-even home can't afford. What's worse, some of their children who rarely visit them are more likely to come straight to demand an explanation for the accidents. 

Since it's a challenge to have dealings with over 200 families associated with the over 70 residents, the institution only makes decisions with families who signed deals. 

Solving problems accurately and thoroughly

Relationship problems occur in the facility, like relations between residents and nurses, or between the elderly people themselves. 

Zhang said that solutions should be given based on the characteristics of every resident and be accurate and effective as possible. When a conflict bursts out between a resident and a nurse, the former scolds the latter at times. Then Zhang tells them not to do this and instead, talk about the issue with her to reach a compromise. 

Common contradictions between the elderly are triggered by insignificant events of life. For instance, whether to open or close windows, and sharing clotheslines are some of the most common examples. Misconduct to such trivial problems will affect the harmony between them. 

Some residents treat here as their "homes"

For the children of some residents, it was considered as unfilial to let their parents move into a nursing home. Their parents also felt embarrassed. 

After some time living here, they fell in love with the place, treating it as their "homes" to the extent that they wanted to spend the Chinese New Year with their children there. 

When it comes to the traditional Spring Festival, 20 or 30 residents observe it in the home. President Zhang has celebrated the day for consecutive five years in the place. 

She has come to a keener appreciation of how to love the Lord Jesus. "The Lord Jesus said that whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of His, you did for Him. As the elderly is a vulnerable group, we are taking action to practice our faith and serve society." 

- Translated by Karen Luo

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