How Are Spiritual Needs Met at MacIntosh?

Dear Elonda,

My mom is going to be moving into a MacIntosh senior living community soon for assisted living. For the most part, she is ready for the move but there is one thing she’s worried about—her religion.

Mom was raised Catholic and is very devout. She attends weekly Mass and before her health issues made it harder for her to drive, she was very active in her church community. She’s worried that it’s going to be hard for her to maintain her spiritual side once she moves. Can you help set her mind at ease?

Paul L.

Hilliard, Ohio


Dear Paul,

Absolutely. There are many ways that MacIntosh care communities meet the needs of both assisted living residents and inpatient rehabilitation patients. We understand that spirituality and religion are important aspects of seniors’ lives, and we do everything we can to ensure that their spiritual needs are being met. I’ll walk you through some of the things we offer so you can share that information with your mother.


Related: Independent Living vs. Assisted Living: Which Is the Best Fit?


Meeting the Spiritual Needs of Residents and Patients at MacIntosh Rehab and Senior Living Communities

One of the first things that will happen when your mother moves in is that she will meet with an activities director at her community to discuss her interests and wants. One of the things we’ll ask her is how we can service her religious or spiritual needs.

As you can imagine, we hear a lot of different answers to that question. For example, some people enjoy attending regular services while others prefer to have communion brought to them in their room. Still others do not belong to any religions and would rather not attend any religious or spiritual gatherings—which is perfectly fine. In the end, we leave it up to the individual to decide what they would like to do (or not do). Our job is to provide them the proper avenues to express their faith or spirituality.

Most communities have religious and spiritual programs in place already that your mom can join in on when she arrives. For example, at Mill Run Rehabilitation Center, Skilled Nursing & Assisted Living in Hilliard, Ohio, we work with around 7-8 area churches that represent a variety of faiths. Representatives from those churches come at different times to offer a wide range of services to residents.

You mentioned your mother was raised Catholic—another example of a religious service offered to residents is a regular rosary service (in addition to weekly Catholic Masses).

We also offer non-denominational services on a weekly basis. That is such a popular event that people from all different religions gather together for it. Family members and guests are also welcome to attend with their loved ones at the community.

We try to have a wide variety available to residents to meet the needs of the population as a whole. However, if a resident expresses a religious or spiritual need that is not currently being met, we have contacts within the surrounding community that we can call and ask to come in to meet those needs. We’re blessed with many area religions who are generous with their time.

Why Spiritual Needs of Older Adults Matter in Residential Communities

Offering the proper religious and spiritual services is something we take very seriously. Having a healthy spiritual life as we age can help us deal with loss, cope with the sense that our purpose is changing and face physical illnesses—all things that often come with age.

Having a strong spiritual life can also help form a sort of mental resilience, research shows.

“The findings suggest that older adults who derive a sense of meaning in life from religion tend to have higher levels of life satisfaction, self-esteem, and optimism,” writes Neal Krause in “Religious Meaning and Subjective Well-Being in Late Life.”


Related: 7 Tips to Keep Your Senior Active Physically & Mentally


I hope this was helpful! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Elonda Hall
Life Enrichment Director
Mill Run Rehabilitation Center, Skilled Nursing & Assisted Living


Volunteer Opportunities at Macintosh Centers

Are you looking for ways to give back? The MacIntosh Company has plenty of local volunteer work for you to put your talents to good use!

Local Volunteer Work with Seniors

There are seven Columbus area senior living and rehab communities that make up The MacIntosh Company. However, if you were to visit all seven, you would notice something: no community is the same as the next.

Why? Because each care center takes on the flavor of the surrounding area. Each one is a part of the fabric of the local community. It’s what gives each community its unique character.

As a result of these special connections, we often see people volunteering from the local area. We certainly have plenty to keep them busy, with volunteer opportunities including:

  • Patient Care Volunteer. If you would like to work one-on-one with residents, you can work as a Patient Care Volunteer. You’ll be able to talk with patients, help with things such as retrieving an extra blanket or delivering a meal, and assist nursing staff where needed.
  • Rehabilitation Therapy Volunteer. Sometimes rehab patients appreciate some guidance when it’s time to go to their on-site therapy appointments. As a Rehabilitation Therapy Volunteer, you can help them go to and from their appointment, as well as lend a helping hand to the therapy staff if you would like. Guide patients to and from their therapy appointments. Assist therapy staff where needed.
  • Customer Service/Information Desk Greeter. The first thing visitors see when they enter the building can be your smiling face. You can help greet people and escort them to visit their loved ones as a Customer Service/Information Desk Greeter.
  • Activity Department Assistant. We have full activity calendars at each location for residents to enjoy. If you would like to help out as an Activity Department Assistant, you can join in the daily activities and support the activity department.
  • Music Makers. Are you a gifted musician? We would love to have you play for patients, residents and visitors.
  • Volunteer Administrative Assistant. If you would prefer to help with administrative tasks, you can help with copying, filing and directing patients and their families throughout the center.
  • Dog Visitation. Bring your friendly pup to brighten the residents’ days. We do ask that you and your dog adhere to our Pet Policy, which we can provide to you if you wish to participate in dog visitation.
  • Teen Volunteer (Volunteen). If you’re a younger volunteer, our Volunteen program is perfect for students 15 years old and above. You’ll be able to do similar things as the adult volunteers.


Learn more about volunteer opportunities and apply here >>


Volunteer Opportunities for Teens

As we mentioned above, we welcome teen volunteers 15 years of age and older. It’s an excellent opportunity for teens who need service hours or who simply want to spend some quality time with seniors.

“In the summer we see more teen volunteers because kids are out of school and parents are looking for places for them to go and get acquainted with the elderly,” Elonda Hall, Mill Run Life Enrichment Director, said.

Although there are some differences due to age, for the most part, teen volunteers are welcome to help with many of the things adult volunteers do.

Volunteering for Older Adults

Hall said that her adult volunteers donate their time for a variety of reasons.

“Some are mothers at home would enjoy getting out of the house and have a passion for it,” she explained. “My older volunteers just want to give something back.

She added that Mill Run also hosts a mother’s group called Mommy and Me Group. The group meets at the center and gives seniors the chance to see the children and how fast they’re growing up.

“They’re amazed at how fast kids grow up these days and how much they learn at a young age,” Hall said. “It’s different from when they were raising children.”

Retired community members are also ideal volunteers, she noted, because they have more time and a more flexible schedule.

The Benefits of Volunteering

The benefits of volunteering are extensive and well-documented. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to learn something new, lower your stress levels and enjoy the impact of your work.

At MacIntosh communities, the main benefit of volunteering is the special bond formed between volunteer and resident.

“I don’t want to say that you have your favorites but you form a bond once you get to know the residents,” Hall said.

You also have the satisfaction of knowing that your efforts are making a real, tangible difference.

“Volunteers are so important in senior communities. We cannot do this job without the help of the volunteers,” Hall said. “Just to say hello or hold a hand in a senior’s life can make a difference in a senior’s life.”

How to Be a Great Volunteer

For the safety of residents, all MacIntosh volunteers go through an orientation process and receive a volunteer packet outlining expectations.

“It’s very important for them to know about the rules and the facilities,” Hall said.

She explained that volunteers are trained in senior-specific areas to help them best meet the needs of the residents. For example, they practice pushing wheelchairs before they work one-on-one with residents. People who have not been in wheelchairs may not realize that there are certain things to take into account.

“I can show them what scares the residents. They sit low so they see differently than we do. If someone comes up behind them out of nowhere and starts pushing them without warning, it’s off-putting,” Hall said.

Volunteers are also trained for health and safety. Because they often come into contact with seniors who have health challenges, they are expected to follow health guidelines such as frequent hand-washing. The administrative staff at each center checks in with volunteers to make sure that both volunteers and residents are staying safe and maintaining proper health procedures.

You don’t need any special skills or talents to volunteer—although we always find ways to put your talents to use! Simply by spending quality time with a resident, you can be a great volunteer.

Get Involved with MacIntosh

Even if it’s something as simple as painting nails or playing a game, you can make a huge difference in someone’s life by volunteering your time. We appreciate all of our wonderful volunteers and the important work they do to keep MacIntosh communities the welcoming, caring places they are. If you would like to join us, submit a volunteer application today.