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Caring Spirit Approach to Eldercare: A Training Guide for Professionals and Families
Nancy Kriseman, M.S.W. | Foreword by William H. Thomas, M.D.
Health Professions Press / Softcover / Apr 2005
9781932529067 (ISBN-10: 1932529063)
Old Age Studies
price: $55.95 (may be subject to change)
208 pages
Not in Stock, can take 4-6 weeks to ship

The Caring Spirit Approach to Eldercare provides a different way to think about culture change in long-term care. While most culture change efforts target the physical environment and internal systems in long-term care communities, the Caring Spirit™ approach recognizes that valuing and nurturing relationships between staff and residents is critical to person-centered care—and that families need to be partners in the process too.

Presented as a training program with 10 professional and 4 family training modules, the activities and instruction presented in this easy-to-follow guide will empower all caregivers by providing the support, guidance, and attention they need to succeed. Participants learn the importance of

Relationships built on compassion, respect, and trust
Pride in and commitment to the process of care giving and receiving
Positive self-awareness and self-care
More meaningful ways to communicate with one another
Care practices that are spiritually renewing rather than depleting and demoralizing
Reap the rewards of reduced costs and improved quality of care from this easily affordable investment in your human resources. Witness what research has already proven: that staff retention and positive care outcomes for residents are directly linked to how staff are valued.

If culture change is truly your passion and goal, then The Caring Spirit Approach to Eldercare is a "must have" training program for your community!


"This approach appeals to the spirit of those giving care while offering a fresh vision of what is possible in caring relationships. This book is a gift offering self care and self discovery for caregivers seeking inspiration and creative expression. The Caring Spirit approach should enhance the quality of lives, comfort and healing relationships in any setting."
—Lisa P. Gwyther, MSW, Director, Family Support Program, Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, Duke University Medical Center

"The emphasis on 'conscious caring' is a welcome addition to the literature on long-term care. This book helps administrators, staff, families, and residents understand how living and working in a long-term care facility can be a blessing to all."
—Susan H. McFadden, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

"This programatic book is a helpful contribution to the expanding literature for implementing spiritual values and concepts in long-term care facilities."
—Melvin A. Kimble, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Theology, Director of The Center for Aging, Religion and Spirituality Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN

"an excellent, insightful training guide for staying connected to our hearts and souls as we perform the sacred work of eldercare … [the book] should be required reading for all managers in long-term care facilities"
-Interfaith Voice, National Interfaith Coalition on Aging
"[Kriseman's] step-by-step training exercises to help caregivers become more insightful, soulful, sacred, connected, and spiritual are warm and inviting and will definitely feed the soul, as well as improve long-term care environments."
– Journal of Christian Nursing

"[The Caring Spirit’s] understanding and presentation of spirituality is particularly sensitive… [the] lesson plans are simple and easy to follow [and] the exercises are interactive and enable participants to go deeper in their understandings and experience of caregiving … The Caring Spirit will go a long way to providing a foundation for excellence in caregiving."
—Donald Koepke, Director, Center for Spirituality and Ethics in Aging

Comments from staff trained in The Caring Spirit™

"The Caring Spirit™ has helped me to see my purpose for why I do this work."

"This training has helped me to see how important it is to be spiritual at work and with the residents."

"It has taught me to be more care oriented instead of task oriented, to show more compassion."

"[It] made me realize that you can make a difference in somebody’s life everyday and not even know that you have done so. Even a smile can change people."



William H. Thomas, M.D

How to Use this Book and Training Program
Introduction Why a Spiritual Approach to Training?
Handout — What Is The Caring Spirit™ Approach?


Understanding Spirituality and Your Spiritual Self
Module 1
Handout 1.1 — Medical Versus Spiritual Model of Care
Handout 1.2 — Faith, Life, Love

Creating a Spiritual Work Environment
Module 2
Handout 2.1 — Questions to Ponder: Defining Home

Why Working in Eldercare Is a Blessing
Module 3

How Inspiration Affects Staff Members and Those for Whom They Care
Module 4

Spiritual Approaches to Caring for Elders
Module 5
Handout 5.1 — Prescription Bottle Ingredients
Handout 5.2 — Prescription Bottle Side Effects

How Staff Members Can Find Support Within the Work They Do
Module 6
Handout 6.1 — Questions to Ponder: Being Angel-Like
Handout 6.2 — Angel Cards

Spiritual Ways to Cope with Stress
Module 7
Handout 7.1 — Being in Someone Else’s Shoes
Handout 7.2 — Soulful Versus Stressful Experiences
Handout 7.3 — Missed Opportunities
Handout 7.4 — Missed Opportunities — Answer Key
Handout 7.5 — Loving-Kindness Meditation

Communicating from the Heart
Module 8
Handout 8.1 — Spiritual Listening
Handout 8.2 — Communication Roadblocks
Handout 8.3 — Spiritual Listening Exercise
Handout 8.4 — Spiritual Listening Answers

Staying Connected Through Rituals
Module 9
Handout 9.1 — Rituals
Handout 9.2 — Questions to Ponder: Valuing Rituals

Taking Care of Our Own Spirits
Module 10
Handout 10.1 — Taking Care of Our Own Spirits

Why a Spiritual Approach to Caring Matters
Module 11
Handout 11.1 — Spiritual Ways of Caring

Helping Families Connect from the Heart
Module 12
Handout 12.1 — Helping Families Connect from Their Hearts
Handout 12.2 — Listening from the Heart Toward Spiritual Communication
Handout 12.3 — Listening from the Heart Scenarios

Spiritual Approaches to Coping with Stress
Module 13
Handout 13.1 — Setting Limits to Reduce Stress
Handout 13.2 — Soulful Versus Stressful Experiences
Handout 13.3 — Angel Cards

Helping Your Family Member Finish Well
Module 14
Handout 14.1 — Anticipatory Grieving and Stages of Grieving
Handout 14.2 — Barriers to Letting Go
Handout 14.3 — Loving-Kindness Meditation

About the Author:

Nancy L. Kriseman, M.S.W., is a licensed geriatric social worker with more than 21 years of experience serving as a program developer, trainer, teacher, and counselor for elders and the staff who care for them. She is currently working as a private geriatric care consultant, assisting with program development and training needs for assisted living and nursing facilities and for home care agencies. She is also an adjunct professor at Kennesaw State University in Georgia and a board member of the Georgia Gerontology Association. She is a recognized national speaker and expert on aging concerns.

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