Home Christian Science nursing is Christian Science nursing care that supports an individual’s ability and desire to remain in the home while working out a challenge and to receive skilled Christian Science nursing care whenever the need arises. Home Christian Science nursing services include assessing care needs, cleansing and bandaging of wounds, instructing patients in proper self care, helping with meal preparation, instructing families in how to support their loved ones, reading the Bible Lesson and Christian Science literature to the patient, helping with baths, shampoos, and nail care, and shopping for groceries and personal items. It also includes nursing care for infants and children.
Visiting Christian Science Nurse Services
Visiting Christian Science nurses generally spend up to two hours per visit providing nursing care and assistance at the patient’s home. In addition to the care described above, visiting nurses can lend health care equipment.
The following are the visiting Christian Science nurse services serving California and the regions they serve:
Arden Wood 415-740-0460
San Francisco and the Peninsula; Marin County to Santa Rosa; East Bay, including Vacaville, Walnut Creek, Milpitas; As far south as the Monterey Peninsula
Broadview Visiting Nurse Service 877-584-3744
Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura counties
Fern Lodge 510-886-2448
Fern Lodge offers visiting Christian Science nursing services in the Monterey and central San Joaquin Valley areas. When they are available Fern Lodge Christian Science nursing staff members also offer Christian Science nursing services in Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the SF Bay Area. We are grateful to work with Arden Wood, Olive Glen, and Redwood Community to ensure that the needs for Christian Science nursing in northern California are readily met in individuals’ homes or at a facility, whichever is appropriate.
Los Angeles County Visiting Nurse Service 818-507-7540
Los Angeles County
San Diego, southern Orange, and Riverside counties
Private Duty Christian Science Nurses
When nursing care in the home is needed for more than the two hours per day provided by visiting nurses, private duty nurses may be engaged. Private duty nurses manage their own independent nursing ministry and provided both short-term and extended daily care, which may often include 24-hour care. In those instances, several nurses may cooperate in providing care. If transportation costs are involved, the patient is normally expected to reimburse the nurse for those costs.
Because fees vary widely among private duty nurses, the fee structure, as well as nursing hours, should be established between nurse and patient or patient’s family at the outset. It may be helpful to know that the general rule of thumb for a daily rate includes eight hours of sleep and four hours off.
Most private duty nurses are listed in The Christian Science Journal. A special notation indicates Journal-listed nurses willing to travel a considerable distance to nurse. Other nurses are often available who are not Journal-listed but who may be able to offer skilled nursing care. Facilities usually maintain lists of private duty nurses working in their areas but do not recommend an individual nurse. You can call the facilities and ask the Director of Christian Science Nursing for assistance.
In addition, a Christian Science nursing referral service called “Jacob’s Ladder, LLC” not only places nurses to meet home nursing needs, but also conducts an initial nursing needs assessment of the care needed, coordinates the care if more than one nurse is needed, and provides oversight on the case. This service can be reached at 636-778-9276.
Home Aid Service
Home aides are individuals who, on either a paid or a volunteer basis, provide helpful assistance to individuals who have a temporary need for support. This support can include shopping for groceries, preparing meals, cleaning a home, driving an individual to appointments, providing recreational outings, and other forms of care and companioning. Christian Scientists who are members of a Care Committee in a local branch church often provide this kind of outreaching, loving care and support to their members and regular attendees when needed.
In a few cities in the U.S., organized Christian Science home aide services are available to respond to these support needs. At this writing, no such organized service exists in California. However, Jacob’s Ladder LLC, a nationwide Christian Science private duty nursing service, does have Christian Scientists available as live-in companions to help someone with minimal needs. Jacob’s Ladder,LLC can be reached at 636-778-9276 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are unable to locate home aide assistance, you may want to check the Yellow Pages or search the Internet. Such headings as “Home Care Services” or those dealing with “seniors” may identify non-profit and for-profit organizations as well as government agencies that operate registries of home-care workers who will come into the home to perform various helpful functions. The sponsoring agencies usually provide no guarantee about the skills of these individuals. (It should also be noted that workers’ beliefs may differ from a Christian Science perspective.)
CARING FOR A LOVED ONE AT HOME
Information and instruction from a number of sources are available on how family members, friends, or fellow church members can provide basic home care to a loved one. This instruction might include:
- How to turn someone in bed
- How to bathe someone in bed
- A few soft food or liquid recipes
- Some basic principles in modifying food
- How to feed someone in bed
- How to find and use health-care equipment
- How to change the linen with someone in bed
- The important ethics of home care
- How to help someone get from a bed to a chair and back
- How to move them from a chair/bed to a chair or wheelchair and back
- Safety principles in the use of a wheelchair
Individuals or branch church Care Committee members who would like to support the care of a loved one at home should feel free to call any of the Christian Science nursing facilities or visiting nurse services listed at the beginning of this section with basic questions.