“I think that the name of the program, Soaring®, is so important because you’re seeing these residents who have carried sorrow and have run out of hope come into our managed communities and the Soaring Program is helping to set them free,” says Hutch, Director of Spiritual Care at The Goodman Group.
Many residents enter a senior living and health care community feeling like something is missing from their lives. Soaring is The Goodman Group’s unique approach to spiritual care. Watch the video below to see how this program has improved the lives of many residents with the help of spiritual directors like Ria:
It Starts with a Spiritual Assessment
“We begin to assess the condition of their spirit within the first few days that they come to one of our communities,” says Hutch.
The spiritual assessment is a very private, one-on-one meeting with a resident spiritual director. The directors ask questions related to peace, purpose, and issues of forgiveness. And for residents, just talking about and reflecting on their lives, some of the difficult moments that they may have never dealt with before can be a healing process. “A lot of our residents have lost so much. They’re isolated, they feel alone. And we talk about it,” says Ria.
But spirituality doesn’t mean the same thing to every resident. Ria and other spiritual directors try to find a personalized track for each resident based on their needs. “The spirituality component encompasses so much more than just religion. Spirituality for some people might be the beauty of nature. For others, it might be the love of music or the love of helping others. It’s an individual plan for each person.” By focusing on what each resident needs, spiritual directors can create a plan that will best help their residents.
Then, We Build a Community
“I do not need to be alone in this community. It’s not just a lonely house that I left. I have a community, I have friends,” claims Blanca, a resident and Soaring beneficiary.
One of the most important aspects of the Soaring program is to get residents involved in a loving community. Living in a Goodman Group managed community means regular activities, social events, and ongoing meetings with a spiritual director, if desired.
And forging that community bond works, according to Hutch. “We’re intervening, we’re connecting them with programs, we’re spending hours with these residents, we’re reconnecting them with family. And we reassess after the course of two to three months.”
Soaring Makes a New Beginning Possible
By working with the Soaring program, residents who had previously been suffering from isolation, lack of purpose, or other spiritual deficiencies have started to blossom. Blanca says, “Let’s put it this way: I’m beginning my life again.”
Ria encapsulates Soaring with one statement: “We’re conquering loneliness. Before you know it, they’re looking back and saying, ‘That was a bad period of my life, but I’m now through it, and I’m out in the community now, soaring.’”