Grantee Spotlight: Deaconess Nurse Ministry

December 14, 2017

Deaconess Nurse Ministry is an organization devoted to improving and promoting the health and well-being of the St. Louis community. This organization is dedicated to advocating for the voiceless and marginalized in the healthcare system. This mission can be seen through their work serving older adults living in impoverished parts of our community.

 

Through their Senior Health Faith Community Nurse Program, Deaconess is committed to improving the quality of life and empowering older adults in the St. Louis community to remain in their homes. The program utilizes an innovative approach that goes beyond caring simply for individual’s physical well-being but promotes health of the body, mind, and spirit of older adults. This unique program emphasizes the importance of community and meets clients where they are, performing services in familiar community locations such as soup kitchens and food pantries. This emphasis on community helps build trust between clients and their “community nurse” as the registered nurses in this program are known. Community nurses work within community places to promote access to healthcare services to high-risk older adults. Soup kitchens and food pantries are vital outreach locations because the low-income older adults who use these services are twice as likely to have diabetes, high blood pressure, and mental health concerns. Without effective screening, education, and referrals, low-income older adults often struggle with isolation and lack proper treatment. Community nurses address this need by providing consistent, easy to understand health screenings and education to empower older adults to remain in their home safely and independently as long as possible.

 

Each community nurse takes the time to truly listen and understand their client so that they are able to provide the best quality of care and services. Nurses act as educator, caregiver, and advocate to ensure that the person’s mental, physical, and spiritual needs are addressed. Clients in this program receive much needed social service referrals to support them in remaining independent in their home. Community nurses teach about topics personalized to individual needs such as medication administration, disease management, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle choices. Through this education, individuals are empowered to take control of their own wellbeing and are better able to lead healthy, independent lives. Taking the time to provide education has proven to be highly successful with 96% of clients able to demonstrate compliance with their medications and 83% able to demonstrate knowledge of their disease process. Support is ongoing with the community nurse visiting at least twice a month, as well as receiving a phone call each week. Care is provided for a minimum of three months or until individual healthcare goals are reached. Through their Senior Health Faith Community Nurse Program Deaconess Faith Community Ministries serves about 360 older adults annually and hope to continue to touch more lives through this impactful program.

For more information about Deaconess Faith Community Nurse Ministries please visit their website: www.faithnurses.org

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