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Golden Living Celebrates Heroes Who Continue to Serve

Golden LivingCenters | posted May 23, 2014 | Bookmark and Share

The Golden LivingCenter - Independence has a significant number of residents and rehabilitation patients who have served in one of the armed forces. And even though their military service may have ended, often these veteran residents and patients continue to volunteer and serve.

At age 96, World War II POW veteran William Boren continued to volunteer at least one day a week for many years at the VA hospital until just recently. Boren also went through hospice training with AseraCare to offer solace and comfort to fellow veterans completing their final journey.

Another veteran rehabilitation patient serves as the chaplain and ministers to the caregivers – helping them get help for themselves first before serving others. Reverend V. Howard Campbell served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam Era.  He was ordained into the ministry in 1964 and served more than 47 years full time before retirement.  He now serves as a volunteer chaplain at GLC Independence where he serves both residents and staff.  He and the executive director have developed a program called "Care for the Caregiver." The program teaches healthcare professionals the importance of self-care, provides them with tools and ideas for self-care and encourages them to incorporate those tools into their practice for their entire career – not just at Golden LivingCenter - Independence. 

Campbell says, "We all know about self care, but we have to decide we will care for ourselves because no one else can do that for you."

Bonnie Nelson, LPN at GLC - Independence, has noticed a change in both her staff and the residents. 

"They come back to the unit and tell me how they have never worked anywhere that had meetings like that,” said Nelson. “I can see a difference in them immediately.  They have information on how to care for themselves now that they can use that forever.  I wish someone had taught me like that 30 years ago."

Nelson also explains that Rev. Campbell has been able to assist with some of the more complex resident issues in his capacity as facility chaplain. 

"He has a calming nature about him.  He's not a nurse or a CNA, but they know he is there to help them in any way he can.  It's just wonderful," Nelson added.

Another resident, Sidney Willis, Army veteran, tells us he doesn't want to live in any other facility.  "It makes me feel better to be with folks who know what I have been through and how to get things done for me.  Here, I know I can go to anyone and they can fix my problems.  There are some real good people here."

The LivingCenter also has many programs that are organized and led by their veteran population. Bible study groups, men’s clubs and participation in local veteran organizations all are spearheaded by heroes who already finished serving their country years ago. The servant heart continues even after the uniform is off. 

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