Joyful Noise to the Lord

June 26, 2018

Pet Peeves, Memory Care, and Making Time for Worship

Most of us have some sort of pet peeve. My wife can’t stand the sound of flossing, tooth brushing, or the slurping sound made when someone with a straw has all but finished a drink.

One of my pet peeves comes during the worship that is held weekly at each Emerald Crest house. Fairly regularly, one resident is taken out because a physical therapist or another home health staff has come for their visit.  They take the resident out and do their thing.

I understand this. I was once a hospice chaplain and I know that these staff have other appointments and have often driven a distance to see this resident.  Still though, it annoys me. No one would ever think to walk into a church, take someone out and check their vital signs or change a bandage. This, though, is what essentially happens. Of course, if the resident asks to stay until the service is over then they stay. But most of our residents either can’t or don’t ask to stay.

This happened the other day with a woman who had a physical therapist come to see her. The physical therapist was walking the woman in the room adjacent to our worship. The therapy had to take a pause though as this resident began singing along with us while we were singing. When she was singing, she would stop walking. Therapy was put on hold until after the song. Then it would resume until we started singing another hymn and the resident would again pause her walking and sing.

I could see this happening through the doorway and it brought a smile to my face. When it was time for communion I brought this woman communion and she gladly accepted to host that was offered. I offered to the physical therapist, too, who also gratefully accepted.

It was a moment of grace in all of our days and a brief reprieve from my pet peeve.

Chaplain Arlen Solem

For questions about our spiritual care program, or if you would like spiritual care and support for you or your loved one, contact Chaplain Arlen Solem at 612-554-6379 or

At Emerald Crest, we offer a deep knowledge of memory care in a specialized assisted living setting for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia-related conditions. We encourage you to contact us directly with any questions or request a tour. For tours and general information, please contact Christine Drasher at 952-908-2215.

Emerald Crest by Augustana Care provides memory care in a unique environment, specifically designed to support those with cognitive issues. Utilizing this exceptional model of care, individuals with dementia, Alzheimer’s and related conditions can flourish in positive relationships and participation in meaningful activities. Memory care is offered in the Minneapolis – Saint Paul area with communities in four convenient locations: Shakopee, Burnsville, Minnetonka and Victoria, MN.


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We were exceptionally pleased with the staff and their care – beyond our expectations. We picked Emerald Crest because of the “family” atmosphere and home environment.  We speak very highly of Emerald Crest in the community and would refer someone with full confidence and no reservations.

— Kim, daughter of resident