Bridges are often a welcome sight.
They lead us to a new vista or, in many instances, home from a trip away.
Diakon Senior Living Services’ Bridge to Home program is one more instance of that important connection—a critical link to comforting surroundings, to what is familiar.
Diakon’s Bridge to Home service is a concept we offer to help rehab patients and others nearing the end of hospitalization or short-term care take the important steps to return home.
In the early days of my career, I remember hearing stories that made me question whether behavioral health was really for me. As mental health and substance abuse professionals, we see and hear a lot.
Ultimately, though, I realized that helping people in their darkest moments comes with a heavy weight but not an unbearable one. Soon, I was getting used to hearing stories that, before, I wouldn’t have fathomed could be true.
“Used to” seems an odd way to put it, but I do not know how else to say it. As therapists, we get used to hearing stories of trauma, used to late-night calls from an individual in crisis, used to advocating for change and then hearing why change didn’t occur. We gladly take on these challenges.
What we don’t get used to is people dying.
The dates may have varied in each senior living community, but the outcome was the same. For us, it was March 12 of last year. The day everything changed.
That was the day the Diakon senior living community of which I am chaplain closed its doors to visitors and most family members to protect our residents from the virus that can cause COVID-19 disease. In an instant, most of my tasks as chaplain fell away.