Elder-Care Facility Consultancy Project
With much excitement, NASCK is proud to announce the launch of the NASCK Elder-Care Facility Consultancy Project. It is our sincere hope and clear goal that this multifaceted program will yield tangible and sustained results, significantly increasing Kovod Hames. The focus of the program is to work with nursing home administrators, social workers and chaplains to implement protocols which will provide all Jewish residents in elder-care facilities with the options and direction leading them to traditional Jewish burial choices and K’vurah K’Halachah.
Elder-Care facilities (assisted-living, nursing home, etc.) that join our project will adopt a standard strongly encouraging every new resident (Jewish or not) to create a pre-need arrangement with a funeral home within 90 days of entering the facility. The nursing home will inform every Jewish resident and their family of its relationship with NASCK – a consultancy group familiar with the vast number of options available to them in the New York area. The families will be provided informed guidance in making these complex decisions and helping them navigate their different options. This will lead them to traditional burial choices while taking into account the type of service which is best for them and at a price they can afford.
Kalman Yurman, an active member of the Chevra of the Vaad Harabonim of Queens and himself employed at a nursing home, has begun recruiting nursing homes to join this project. He has found a receptive audience. Many nursing homes are owned or managed by religious Jews who care deeply about the needs – physical and spiritual – of their residents. Often, in many areas of life, things slip through the cracks merely because there is a lack of focus on an issue. When that focus is created and people are challenged to work out solutions, real, effective changes can be made, often with a few simple steps.
At the same time NASCK is offering these facilities in-service seminars for their nurses and social workers. Explaining Jewish end-of-life custom and belief, these lectures act to sensitize the staff to the religious needs and expectations of Jewish families at the end of life and the critical time of death. They are given practical tools to better serve their Jewish residents and accommodate their traditions.
A future goal of this program is to address the next step of the problem. People often make pre-need funeral arrangements, but if they leave the nursing home and get transferred to a hospital or a rehab center, the pre-need arrangement does not always come along with them. This problem is compounded when elderly people have no known family to look out for them. A pre-need arrangement is only effective if there is knowledge of it at the time and place of death. The Elder-Care Consultancy Project hopes to develop a database of these patients and plans to advocate for these patients to ensure that the pre-need arrangements are known and followed properly when the time comes.