§2. Provision must also be made so that they possess that social assistance which provides for their needs suitably if they suffer from illness, incapacity, or old age. (CIC, canon 281)
Westminster Permanent Diaconate gives special consideration to deacons who are retired, suffer from illness or are otherwise incapacitated, to ensure their needs are met. In the first instance, it will be the family who supports their member who is a deacon. In some instances, it may be that additional support is provided by the local parish. And for some with a particular need, professional social and health services may be involved in providing care. Westminster Permanent Diaconate assigns one of its own deacons as ‘Hospitalier’ to accompany deacons who are retired, sick or otherwise incapacitated, to ensure they receive the care they need, whatever their circumstance, through the process set out below.
Role and Tasks of Hospitalier
Identify Deacons who may benefit from the services of the Hospitalier
- Retired Deacons
- Deacons who have a health concern
- Frail Deacons
Engage and Assess
- Contact and meet with Deacons identified
- Asses their home circumstances in terms of unmet needs
- Provide a report with proposed actions to meet needs.
Inform and Facilitate
- Where a particular need is not being met, then with permission of the Deacon, the Hospitalier will seek support from:
> Family of Deacon, if they are in contact and willing to help
> Local parish – it may be that members of the parish, or a parish group such as SVP can provide support.
> Statutory Social Services and Health Services, particularly if other support is not available, or there is an emergency.
Report and Communicate
- Regular reports to the Director of the Permanent Diaconate on work undertaken.
- Information to be included in diaconate newsletter, for example if prayers are requested, and with permission of the Deacon concerned.
- Ongoing communication with those Deacons who are retired, sick or otherwise incapacitated, and others as appropriate and with others, such as family and parish, with permission of the Deacon concerned.
Personal and Service Development
- To ensure a good level of competence and expertise in the ongoing service, the Hospitalier will seek out opportunities for and promote:
- Personal development in areas such as healthcare chaplaincy
- Service development to meet changes in level and type of need
- Awareness across the Diaconate and Diocese.