Riverview LEA addressing residents’ spiritual side


Adam Wicklum offering prayer meetings, Bible study and meditation programs

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Riverview Manor life enrichment aide (LEA) Adam Wicklum is bringing spirituality to the Peterborough long-term care home’s residents through prayer meetings, meditation activities and a Bible-study program.

About 15 residents are regularly attending the program, the LEA says, adding that people of all faiths are welcome as well as people who do not subscribe to any religion.

“It’s open to everybody who wants to come,” he says.

Some residents have even provided input to Wicklum for how to make the program more engaging. For example, one resident proposed getting residents to read verses aloud during the sessions, which is now part of the program. The resident also suggested Wicklum print biblical verses in large fonts so more people could read them.

“(The resident) also said that music really helps connect people, so in the Bible-study program and in the prayer meetings I will usually play two songs, one at the beginning and one at the end, that relates to the topic that we’re talking about,” Wicklum says.

The music, he adds, includes both traditional hymns and more recent music. The prayers and the music also provide residents an opportunity to reminisce, Wicklum points out. Residents with cognitive impairment, for instance, will often remember the music from their childhood.

While Wicklum is the one leading the program, the idea actually came from Riverview Manor’s residents’ council, whose members have requested additional spiritual services.

As part of the Spiritual Mondays program, Wicklum will select a theme — for example, right now it’s encouragement — that will be the focus of the prayer readings, Bible study and meditation activities.

Wicklum, in addition to leading Spiritual Mondays, writes and reads poetry to those who are receiving palliative care.

It’s Wicklum’s caring nature that earned him Riverview Manor’s Everyday Hero award this year. The accolade, which recognizes those staff members who go above and beyond for residents, will be presented to the LEA in August.

“He’s a very kind soul. He’s also very innovative,” says administrator Mary Anne Greco.

Do you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway? If so, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

– with files from Natalie Hamilton

If you have any feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

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