Help bring chaplaincy to more people in need

John* was in hospital and feeling desperate. He was longing to move into better housing but, lying in bed in a hospital ward, was helpless to shift his belongings to his new dwelling.

The 80-year-old was anxious to move out of an unsuitable Government housing complex in a neighbourhood affected by high crime.

Daunting news was delivered to him in hospital mid-morning on Friday: “You’re being discharged – but you can’t go back to your unit. Because of your declining health you need to go to a more closely-supported living arrangement.”

It was Friday afternoon when John was told that Carinity Home Care had found a suitable independent living unit he could move into. But the unit would likely be taken by someone else if not occupied by Monday.

Time wasn’t on John’s side – and he was confined to a hospital bed.

Within hours, Carinity staff had cleaned John’s house and packed his belongings including furniture and clothing.

Given John’s very meagre income and with no removalist available or willing to transport his housing items at such short notice, a Carinity chaplain instantly jumped into action to find a solution.

The chaplain contacted several local Baptist Churches until he found a pastor who immediately mobilised a team of volunteers to move John’s belongings over the weekend.

“I was so happy that Carinity was able to find a new home for me. Where I was living before, it wasn’t a nice neighbourhood and I felt a bit vulnerable,” John says.

“The church members and the Carinity chaplain were a godsend, moving my possessions into my new unit when I couldn’t. I would not be enjoying life in my new home in a safer neighbourhood without them.

“I am grateful to the chaplain who was able to help me, and they still help me. I live alone so if I ever feel lonely or I need some support I can phone, and someone can come around for a chat.”

Rev Don McPherson, Manager of Carinity’s Chaplaincy and Mission Services, says Carinity has around 60 chaplains who support people in hospital or prison or living in aged care communities across Queensland.

Now Carinity is expanding its chaplaincy service to assist seniors who live at home – often on their own. 

“Carinity’s chaplains actively listen to and provide support to patients, residents and people in prison. Our chaplains provide hope, comfort and holistic spiritual care to people experiencing difficulty, loneliness, fear or joy,” Don says.

“Our Chaplains help to alleviate social isolation for Queenslanders. They are a friendly face, someone to talk to, share with and confide in.

“Home Care chaplaincy will provide a listening ear and assist seniors with spiritual and social support for daily living and those facing challenging times, in particular those who may live alone or don’t live close to family or enjoy a church or social connection.

“As we extend chaplaincy to more older residents, Carinity works with Baptist churches in communities in Queensland – to create a collaboration of care.”

By donating to the 2019 Chaplains Appeal, you can help Carinity to support more Queenslanders by expanding our chaplaincy service to seniors in their home.

You can donate online, via mail at Reply Paid 85096, Mitchelton QLD 4053, or by phoning 07 3550 3737.

* Name changed to respect privacy.

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