Remembering those who have passed and honoring those still living is the focus of the Candles for Caring service scheduled for 4 p.m. Nov. 4. at the Benedictine Living Community, which recently changed its name from St. Crispin Living Community.
“As the days get shorter and there is more darkness, we want to remember the light that our loved ones provided for us by their connection with us and by our relationship with them and the light that it continues to give us as we move through our lives,” said Chaplain Debby Bradley. “At this service in November, we say their name, and we light a candle for the people we remember and honor.”
Because of COVID-19, only one person is allowed in the chapel at a time, so the candles will be lit in advance and the event will be virtual, Bradley explained. She will be reading the names and conducting the service.
“People purchase a candle for $25, and they list a name on a program that we follow,” Bradley said. “I’ll be sending out programs to anybody who purchases a candle. They can not only watch, but they’ll have that memorial piece of paper, too.”
The service will be broadcast for residents and staff on their in-house network. Those outside the facility can watch it live-streamed on Facebook. It will also be available on Facebook as a recording for those who cannot watch it live.
The event is a fundraiser for the St. Crispin Foundation/Benedictine Health System Foundation which provides funding to purchase items that are not already provided for the residents.
“Right now we would like to build a solarium out the dining room doors, so there would be a nice open space for people to have a bunch of windows around them to feel more connected with nature and the outside,” Bradley said. “They would have more space to visit with family and friends.”
Bradley noted that foundation funds have purchased two important items in recent years, including blanket warmers and bladder scanners.
“When you are chilled to the bone, and a nurse brings that blanket that warms you all the way to your core, it just means everything in the world,” Bradley said. “If we didn’t have the foundation, we wouldn’t have those things. It is such a luxury.”
She also said that the bladder scanners are a non-invasive way for the nursing staff to check to see if a resident has a urinary tract infection.
“When you have people who have memory issues, the last thing you want to do is be invasive,” Bradley said.
Bradley said the Candles for Caring service is important for the residents to hear the names of those they loved and learned from. It is also important for them to hear their own names read during the service, knowing that their family bought a candle for them.
“Hearing their own name is very special to honor them,” Bradley said.
More information about the Candles for Caring program is available at www.benedictineredwing.org/ or by calling 651-388-1234.