Interfaith Elder Care Group of Lebanon Reaffirms Their Goals of Cooperation and Peace

By Julie Celeste Pimentel (Guest Post)

The second Lebanon Interfaith Elder Care Group conference was held in Mzaar, Lebanon on April 22, 2017. The purpose of the conference was to further the understanding of the challenges and goals of the group, composed of Managers of Senior Care centers throughout Lebanon.

Reference to “the war” is frequent in Lebanese conversations with the words, before, during and since being denominator of the civil conflict that took place from 1975 to 1990. The social structure of the population and more significantly, the family structure were forever changed during those 15 years with civilian fatality estimates as high as 200,000. Because of these changes, the need for Elder Care is near crisis.

The Group, with representatives of Shia, Sunni, Druze, Maronite, Latin Catholic, Armenian Christian, and Protestant Christian communities, was formed at the first conference in Cyprus in 2015 and the cooperation among them is considered a phenomenon. Although there are 53 long-term care centers in Lebanon, only on Assisted Living Center, Moadieh Evangelical Center of Beirut exists in Lebanon.

With the need for assisted living care rapidly increasing, Joyce Eid, General Manager of the Moadieh Center became profoundly interested in implementing the National Evangelical Church’s vision for changing the social environment to one that would provide elder care for anyone in need, no matter his or her religious belief.

Speakers at the conference were:

Rick Stiffney, CEO, Mennonite Health Services (Indiana, USA)
Topic – The Board/Executive Relationship: Developing our Missions and Capacities Together

Philippe Saad, Architect (Massachusetts, USA)
Topic – Design Considerations for Today’s Seniors: Planning for Wellness Not Sickness

Nadim Abi-Antoun, COO, Presbyterian Homes (Illinois, USA)
Topic – Service Delivery Models for seniors: Technology and Innovation in Senior Services

David Reimer, CEO/President of Palm Village Retirement Community was the consultant for the conference, supported by funds from Ken Enns Memorial Donations. Eid first met Reimer when she visited Palm Village in 2012 for the purpose of learning the operations of an Assisted Living Center. They were connected through Mennonite Central Committee.

As a result of the conference the attendees affirmed the need to continue to share practices and education and to establish a formal legal organization in Lebanon. They hope to be a model for peace, not only in this interfaith group, but also for other programs that will prosper with an all-inclusive policy.

For information contact conference attendee: Julie Celeste Pimentel, Managing Partner, Celeste/Daniels Advertising and Design – julie@celestedaniels.com, +001 541 344 2308.

Photo credit: Members of Lebanon Interfaith Elder Care Groups and Speakers from United States. Photo taken by Julie Celeste Pimentel.

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