Church-based nurse helps caregivers, older adults

SAJE Senior Ministry supports a Faith Community Nurse, Deb Goldfeder, who is available to members. Deb cares for physical, social, and spiritual needs. SAJE is an ecumenical ministry for the purpose of enriching the lives of seniors in the Crestwood/Sunset Hills area. SAJE activities are open to all regardless of religious or congregational affiliation, SAJE Senior Ministry is a partnership of four churches in the Crestwood/Sunset Hills area in southern metropolitan Saint Louis, Missouri. In the summer of 2010, these churches came together to develop an intentional senior ministry for the older adults in their community regardless of religious affiliation

For Deb Goldfeder, serving as a nurse for a unique church-based senior ministry means working with caregivers as well as older adults.

For example, Goldfeder receives calls from adult children who live out of town and want to get their parent in activities sponsored by SAJE Senior Ministry, an ecumenical program for seniors in the Crestwood/Sunset Hills area. Its activities are open to all regardless of religious or congregational affiliation.

Other times, she works with families on the level of care that’s appropriate for their loved ones. Sometimes family members don’t see the changes taking place in their relatives and Goldfeder, who is a member of the SAJE staff, will provide them an initial assessment that may lead them to seek different living arrangements for the older adult.

“Someone today asked me if I could help her with her mother who is in South Carolina. I won’t see her, but I have contacts and information across the country of organizations to contact and questions to ask — things that might guide a person who making a decision of a good place for their parent,” Goldfeder said. “Helping to support the daughter through a difficult time is part of what I’m doing.”

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