Case Study: Compassionate Touch at Presbyterian Senior Living


Presbyterian Senior Living offers love, connection and comfort to their elders by creatively keeping Compassionate Touch moving forward during the pandemic.

AGE-u-cate honors the wonderful work at  Presbyterian Senior Living (PSL), based in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania.

Alicia Fenstermacher, PSL Corporate Director of Purposeful Living and AGE-u-cate Certified Master Trainer shared how PSL keeps resident and employee well-being front and center during the pandemic with Compassionate Touch.

Since 2015, Compassionate Touch is integrated into the culture of care and service at PSL. They have over 230 certified Compassionate Touch Coaches, and  989 trained caregivers.

The pandemic imposed an environment of isolation and disconnection for their elders.  Loneliness and depression are serious risk factors for elders lacking human connection and touch. Without delay, Alicia accepted the challenge and created a solution to continue training staff on CT during the pandemic.

Leadership in Action

"Obstacles don't have to stop you.  If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up.  Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it."  Michael Jordan.

Alicia used the Master Trainer resources provided by AGE-u-cate.  She created a customized a 40-minute education module about the benefits, skill, and application of the Compassionate Touch techniques.

The staff at PSL find Compassionate Touch easy and flexible.  Additionally, feedback indicates that using CT reduces care partner stress and helps the staff to build trusting relationships with their residents.

Further, CT, along with other interventions, results in decreased incidents of resident behavioral stress reactions.

Presbyterian Senior Living mission is  to provide compassionate, vibrant and supportive communities and services to promote wholeness of body, mind and spirit. 

 "We are honored to be a part of the PSL mission in action," Pam Brandon, Founder and President, AGE-u-cate Training Institute.

Read more about PSL in this case study.

Click here for more information about Compassionate Touch and other AGE-u-cate Programs.

Julie has worked in Aging Services for over 30 years and has been a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator since 1990. She is a the Director of Grants and Consulting Projects and a Certified Master Trainer with AGE-u-cate Training Institute. In addition, she is an instructor and of Gerontology and Leadership in Aging Services at Northern Illinois University and lives in the Chicago Northwest Suburb of Mount Prospect, IL.