Callie Janoff is Director of the Aging Resources Consultation and Help (ARCH) program of the New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). “The ARCH program is an innovative approach to faith-based pastoral care for aging members of our communities,” Callie says. “We train volunteer Visitors in weekend retreats that focus on identifying aging-related concerns and needs and those of caregivers, active listening, aging and disability-related community and government resources and programs, healthy boundaries, self-care, end-of-life planning, and grief and loss.
“These Visitors return to their communities to provide friendly visits, organize workshops and learning opportunities, facilitate caregiver support groups, vigil with the dying, organize care teams, and provide many many other small and large acts of pastoral care for our oldest community members. Visitors are supported by a small professional staff who engage in ongoing additional training, assistance with complex issues or concerns, referrals to further services, and community building workshops that further deepen the capacity of the whole community to feel safe enough with each other to ask for and receive the help of others.”