Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8
Just as spiritually we need to ask for God’s forgiveness before we can go to work in His kingdom; so also we need to be careful this Winter about hand washing when we go into the nursing homes to visit. Just as having a selfish lifestyle taints everything we touch so we also need to be extra diligent when we are visiting with our friends in long term care.
Shaking hands or giving an occasional hug is an important part of what we do in nursing home ministry. Imagine the loneliness of living in a world where no one touches you without getting paid to do so? But to the normal concern of hygiene during this year’s flu season is the added alarm over the spread of the corona virus. What can we do as volunteers? One idea is to sit home huddled in our room with a box of hand sanitizing wipes until Spring. But imagine if all of the doctors and nurses took that approach! Our resident’s spiritual needs are no less important than their medical ones but as we go to our normal visits; there are some things we must pay attention to.
These simple steps are not just a matter of routine. They may save a life. As I was taught we need to gel in and gel out with hand sanitizer when entering and leaving a residence hall. Secondly I am sure to wash with soap and warm water (Including my wrists) before leaving home and on my return. Last of all be sure to always ask the staff before entering individual resident’s quarters. I am a regular in room visitor to people however I have never gone in to pray, sing for or visit anyone without an invitation. That protects not only the residents but also yourself from unneeded risks. Here is a simple and fun video you can watch and share. Have a blessed day and don’t forget to wash those hands!