Bailey-Boushay House Homefront
Newsletter Summer 2016 Edition
Inside this issue
Caring for the Spirit | Keeping Clients Safer with the Needle Program | END AIDS Walk
Caring for the Spirit
How Bailey-Boushay House nurtures the whole person
Spiritual care at Bailey-Boushay House is as personal as the nursing care and social support that each client and resident receives.
“We respect all faiths and beliefs, including atheism,” says Tiji Murphy, Bailey-Boushay chaplain. “Many folks here have been hurt by spiritual and religious people and traditions. I remind people that I am here for spiritual, religious, and emotional support.”
Chaplain Tiji Murphy enjoys a recent concert at BBH.
Events and activities this past June—both the planned and the unforeseen—show how many forms that broad support can take.
The spectrum of spiritual highs and lows
One highlight on June 18 was a long time in the planning: an afternoon concert for residents by the Higher Vision gospel choir, along with the Mount Zion Dance Ministry.
Voices of performers and audience alike rocked the House. Toes tapped, hands clapped, residents forgot their cares. The live music connected mind, body, and emotions in the spontaneous joy of the moment.
In stark contrast, just days earlier two gatherings were quickly organized to help clients and residents cope with the shocking mass shooting at a night club in Orlando, Florida.
Reactions were diverse and deeply felt: grief, anger, sadness, fear. Some prayed. Some worried about the safety of going to gay clubs or the Pride parade. And some felt called to become more active in LGBTQ affairs.
“The Bailey-Boushay community was definitely impacted by the Orlando shootings,” Tiji says.
Honoring through rememberence
The Bailey-Boushay family has long come together for spiritual comfort in times of loss.
Until 2016, an annual memorial service honored all the clients and residents who passed away during the prior year. Now services are held whenever a loved one or a member of the Bailey-Boushay community requests one.
“It makes each service more personal,” says Brian Knowles, Bailey-Boushay’s executive director. “The reading and the music reflect what was important to that person, and there’s more time for stories.”
Photos of clients, volunteers and staff
adorn the hallways of Bailey-Boushay House
Story telling is the best part.
“It’s a time of tugged heartstrings and laughter, too,” Brian says, “as we remember what they were like, including when they weren’t perfect. By remembering how the person mattered to us, we feel joyful that we got to share some days together.”
In the tradition of memorable gatherings, each service ends with food provided by the Bailey-Boushay kitchen.
Nurturing the spirit in small, quiet ways
Much spiritual support for clients and residents happens in one-on-one talks and through scheduled activities.
In addition to an onsite Sunday morning service, clients and residents have attended Bible study, a Buddhist meditation and sangha group (requested by a resident), faith walks, and visits from guest leaders talking about different world religions. A faith film series is another regular calendar feature for anyone who’d like to attend.
“You never know how many people are going to come,” says Tiji. “It all works out.”
Embracing support for the whole person
Brenda, a Bailey-Boushay client for nearly three years, comes in Monday through Friday for medication and a hot lunch.
Brenda, who has always loved going to church, was pleasantly surprised to find a chaplain on staff and is a regular at Bible study group. She also attends exercise group in her wheelchair and loves being in both the book group and the writing group.
Asked what speaks most to her spirit at Bailey-Boushay, she looks around the Big Room where clients and staff gather.
“It’s the love,” Brenda says. “The love is abundant here, the loving and the caring—it goes hand in hand.”
Faith walks for one and all
In good weather Tiji takes clients and residents on a neighborhood walk. “The faith walk means different things to different people,” she says. “Some see God’s creation. Some relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. One client told me it just feels good to be outside.”
Sometimes it’s Tiji pushing the wheelchair of one resident who, before becoming ill with Huntington’s disease, liked to garden. One day the same pair headed a cavalcade of six other residents and clients in electric wheelchairs.
“It was so funny watching people driving by that day,” Tiji says. “They couldn’t figure out if we were a protest or a parade.”
Randy, a resident at Bailey-Boushay, especially enjoys
the videos presented at the weekly Faith Flicks group.
Strengthening the bonds of love
Randy and David were longtime clients downstairs before Randy moved upstairs into the nursing home in May. Memory loss and dangerous falls made residential care necessary for his safety.
Living apart is a momentous change for a couple who celebrated their 20th anniversary in February. “He’s asked me my name a couple of times—that was really hard,” David says.
Randy and David watched the video series, “A.D. The Bible Continues,” at Tiji’s weekly Faith Flicks group. They found it engaging to share a new experience with each other.
Though Randy has long had his own spiritual practice, David’s family wasn’t religious. “That’s why I enjoyed learning about it”, David says.
Offering spiritual experiences to all
The spirituality program at Bailey-Boushay is open to all, including those who are confused, can’t talk, or have dementia.
“Sometimes those are the only moments that connect an isolated person to the world,” Brian says. “Everyone deserves that opportunity if they want it.”
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Summer Halas, RN, safely disposes of a needle.
Keeping Clients Safer with the Needle Program
A part of Bailey-Boushay House’s mission is to provide exceptional care for people living with HIV/AIDS. Four years ago, when staff learned that more of their HIV-positive clients were injecting drugs, they sought ways to keep them safer.
“Sharing needles can be dangerous and spread HIV, hepatitis B and C and other bacterial infections,” says Sandy Eastwood, RN, ACRN, assistant nurse manager/charge nurse. “We provide clean needles and supplies so clients can stay safer and decrease the risk of co-infection and disease transmission to themselves and their partners.”
A unique part of the program is that clients don’t have to bring in dirty needles in exchange for clean ones. “We don’t want to put up any barriers to them using clean needles,” says Sandy. “But we do encourage them to bring back dirty needles so they’re not reused. We also provide a small sharps container that they can easily use and return to us for disposal.”
The nurses also help guide clients toward safer injection techniques and ways to deal with infections or abscesses.
“The best part of the program is that there’s no judgement involved,” says John, a client who participates in the program. “I feel I can ask the nurses for help with any concerns I have.”
Ray, a client who is in the Bailey-Boushay drug treatment program, appreciates the help to stay safer. He uses the sharps container and takes care to not spread disease. “Very special people work here and they support us without prejudice,” he says. Back to Top
END AIDS Walk
Join us Saturday, September 24 at Volunteer Park for the 30th annual END AIDS Walk. After walking or running the 5K loop through Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, participants are invited to join the END AIDS Walk After-Party with family-friendly activities.
Bailey-Boushay House will once again be partnering as an END AIDS Walk Allied Organization, which means a portion of the proceeds raised by the team will benefit Bailey-Boushay House. Register as a walker, or support team “Bailey-Boushay House” on the team page.
Learn more at www.endaidswalk.org.
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