Outreach to the Vulnerable during COVID-19
During this unprecedented time, we the Church want to make sure our most vulnerable community members are not forgotten. Many parishes are already reaching out to vulnerable parishioners. For parishes that have not yet begun outreach efforts, if you are able, please do so in whatever manner is available to you (phone, email, U.S. mail). This is a time in which we can reach out to the elderly and isolated to offer encouragement, to pray with them and to listen to them. It is also a wonderful opportunity to build community, and strengthen relationships in this time of “shelter in place” and social distancing. We may be physically distanced but we can be socially close.
A Pastoral Message on Growing Older Within the Faith Community
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops invites older persons, their families, and their faith communities to develop new initiatives that encourage the participation of older persons in society and in the Church. Recognizing the social, economic, and spiritual implications of this rapidly growing age group, the bishops encourage a fresh perspective that embraces the gift of aging. Information can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/elderly.cfm.
Illinois Department on Aging: http://www.state.il.us/aging/
Resources for Seniors: www.illinois.gov/aging/Resources
Catholic Charities Programs for Elderly Assistance
Faith in Action
Faith in Action serves frail homebound adults age 55 and older. Services are provided at no cost through a network of trained volunteers from area religious congregations, service organizations and the community at-large. Faith in Action serves frail homebound adults age 55 and older. Click here for more information on the Faith in Action program.
Elderly Guardianship provides appropriate decision-making and advocacy for elderly adults who lack the ability to make proper judgments concerning their health, well-being and safety after being named through a court order, Guardian of Person. Click here for more information on the Elderly Guardianship service.
Eldercare Options is a program that assesses, counsels, and determines the need for guardianship for disabled elderly adults who are no longer able to make sound judgments on their own.
Click here for more information on the Eldercare Options program.
Catholic Conference of Illinois:
CCI offers updated guidance on advance directives for end-of-life care
The rapid pace of advances in medical care allows us to live longer and more productive lives than those of our ancestors. But these same innovations can leave us struggling for guidance when we are confronted with end-of-life decisions.
Advance directives are legal forms that outline our wishes regarding medical treatments we may or may not want as we grow older or are in an accident and cannot speak for ourselves. The new booklet summarizes the need for an advance directive, including the process of picking an agent to speak on your behalf.
Download a FREE copy of "End of Life Conversations: A Catholic Perspective on Advance Directives."
The Friends of St. John the Caregiver
International Catholic organization addressing the growing needs of family caregivers by providing:
- Spirituality, information and resources to individuals and caregivers (Your Aging Parent website)
- Training and educational material to dioceses and parishes (Catholic Caregivers website)
- A membership association offering spiritual support for those who need or provide care, as well as for those who assist others who are providing care.
You can learn more about The Friends of St. John the Caregiver at www.fsjc.org
Your Aging Parent
This site is designed for family caregivers. Here you'll find spirituality, information and resources for Catholic caregivers. Click here for more information about Your Aging Parent. For information about caregiving basics, please click here.
Information to assist parishes help caregivers.
- Free Resources for Your Parish
- Why Your Parish Should Consider Offering Respite Care
- Responsibilities of the Church and Your Parish
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission / Safety for Older Consumers – Home Safety Checklist is available at https://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/122038/701.pdf