A listening ear on a spiritual journey

When Noel Conwell wishes to speak to someone about his faith, seek spiritual guidance, or simply have a chat with a trusted friend, he doesn’t have to look too far.

He can always call upon Gill Johnson, an experienced chaplain at the Carinity Wishart Gardens residential aged care community in Brisbane, where Noel lives.

Chaplain Gill Johnson provides spiritual support to Carinity Wishart Gardens residents such as Noel Conwell
Chaplain Gill Johnson provides spiritual support to Carinity Wishart Gardens residents such as Noel Conwell.

“When Gill comes she sits with me, she shares things with me – not advising but just being a Christian person,” Noel said.

“It is good to have someone to share things with. And Gill takes me to church also, which is good. I mostly like the fact that you can share spiritual things with someone else. It is encouraging to talk to other people about our Christian ideals. She visits everyone here.”

Gill has been the on-site chaplain at Carinity Wishart Gardens for three years, “listening to residents give voice to things that are on their minds.”

“Our residents have complex needs: physical, psychological, social, and spiritual. I work alongside a multi-disciplinary team to best meet those needs,” Gill said.

“My role is to be in the moment with each resident – to listen to their life stories; to acknowledge frustrations and fears; share in their joys and help them to find hope; to help them explore their own spirituality.

“I also offer a listening ear for our staff, all of whom play an essential part in the care of our residents.

Gill is a trusted companion and confidante for seniors and their families during all stages of their aged care journey.

“I support residents and family members as they transition to care. It can be a stressful time and having someone listen to their thoughts and know someone cares can help them to cope and find hope,” she says.

“Going into care is one of the biggest changes we make in life for both the resident and their families. One of the most empowering things for residents is to be listened to.”

Supporting the 2022 Carinity Chaplains Appeal will enable Carinity to place more chaplains into our aged care communities across Queensland.

Carinity also provides dedicated and passionate chaplains who support patients in hospitals, students in schools, and people inside correctional centres.

Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible. Donate online at carinity.org.au/donations.

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