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Spirituality is a Cornerstone of Crane’s Mill’s “La Via” Wellness Program

Religious services, spiritual programs, and meditation exercises are just some of the fantastic programs led by Pastor Nancy Truscott, the Crane’s Mill Chaplain.

Pastor Nancy Truscott, the Crane's Mill Chaplain, hosts a virtual program.

Pastor Nancy Truscott, the Crane’s Mill Chaplain, hosts a virtual program.

The La Via Wellness program at Crane’s Mill senior living community enhances resident well-being by focusing on six distinct dimensions of wellness: physical, spiritual, intellectual, emotional and social, vocational, and environmental. We believe that a well-rounded approach is key to long-term health. With the help of dedicated experts who specialize in each dimension of La Via, residents follow their own paths to engage their bodies and minds. Pastor Nancy Truscott, our chaplain, oversees the spiritual aspects of the program.

Nancy has been at Crane’s Mill for four years. She became chaplain here after working at another assisted living property in South Jersey. When opportunity beckoned her to Crane’s Mill, she plunged happily into the work, and has not looked back since. “I absolutely LOVE what I do,” Nancy shares. “I’m not a morning person, but I can’t wait to get up and come to work every day!”

As chaplain, Nancy oversees programs for both independent living and assisted living residents, often collaborating with people from the local area. From Fr. O’Connor, a retired priest who says Mass on Sundays, to Rabbi Silverstein, who leads Shabbat Eve services and programs for Jewish residents, Nancy has built a strong network of generous people willing to give their time and energy to support the spiritual needs of our community. Many of these offerings were suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Nancy is hopeful that things will be able to return to normal soon.

In Nancy’s view, La Via’s holistic approach to wellness mirrors the diversity of belief and the vibrant array of faith traditions found among Crane’s Mill residents. Integrating multiple approaches and practices can broaden everyone’s horizons. One example is “mindfulness-based stress reduction,” a program that is not strictly spiritual, but that helps residents re-center themselves with anxiety-relieving meditation exercises. Programming like this falls under the spiritual umbrella and is open to everyone regardless of belief.

With the holiday season fast approaching, Nancy is excited about upcoming offerings like the Veterans Day 21-gun salute and prayer service, Hannukah programs, and candlelight Christmas service. Christmas will be especially meaningful this year, after the interruption of programming last year during the height of the pandemic. “It means so much now that we can be together again, safely!”

Spirituality is a significant part of our residents’ lives. They never have to worry that they can’t get to church, since Nancy and her local partners ensure that the same experience is offered right here at Crane’s Mill. Residents have expressed to Nancy time and again just how grateful they are for programs like the blowing of the shofar at Rosh Hashanah, an event coordinated with volunteers from Congregation Agudath Israel. “One resident almost ran up to me in the parking lot to tell me how special that was,” Nancy remembers.

Why is the spiritual element so important to Nancy, and to the residents she serves? “In my heart, I feel that whether a person considers themself ‘spiritual’ or not, there is absolutely a spiritual essence in all of life, from being alive—whether you’re a part of nature or a human being,” she explains. “Everything is created and born with a spiritual essence. What a privilege it has been to be able to devote my entire professional life to this, to be part of this spark of life.”

Check out the most recent Millstream Calendar to see the latest scheduled programming.