Mercy Care for the Adirondacks
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Frequently Asked Questions

Please view our Frequently Asked Questions below:

Question Answer
What is Mercy Care for the Adirondacks? It is a mission sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy to provide elders, on a non-denominational basis, with companionship, friendship, and spiritual care.  Services of this not-for-profit organization are supported through charitable donations.
Whom does Mercy Care serve? Mercy Care serves elders of all faiths living in their own homes or other independent living communities in the Tri-Lakes region of the Adirondacks.  Services are offered to older adults in need. There are no income or health guidelines for which an elder must qualify.
Is there a fee for Mercy Care Services?

Mercy Care’s direct services to elders through its Friendship Volunteer, Volunteer Parish Nurse, and Volunteer Caregiver Friend Programs are provided free of charge but are freely given by our kind and generous volunteers. Mercy Care for the Adirondacks is supported solely through charitable contributions and grants. The community itself supports Mercy Care.

How do Friendship, Caregiver Friends and Parish Nurse Volunteers make a difference? To help ease isolation and loneliness, Mercy Care gives priority to the establishment and strengthening of meaningful social relations between older adults and their family, friends, and volunteers, encouraging and enabling participation in the life of their communities.
How do I request a Mercy Care Friendship Volunteer, Caregiver Friend or Parish Nurse Volunteer?

If you are an older adult--or know someone who is--who would welcome the services of our volunteers, please contact our Mission Director, Sr. Catherine Cummings, RSM, Ed.D., R.N., at 518-523-5582 or by e-mail at

What is Mercy Care's Parish Nurse/Faith Community Nursing Program?
  • A ministry that offers compassionate care consistent with the values and beliefs of each faith community.
  • A resource to assist faith communities in establishing and maintaining an effective health ministry to elders and infirm persons within their congregations
  • A collaboration with health-care providers, public, and private agencies serving elders.
  • A health mission serving all elders living in their own homes or other senior living facilities—respecting the values and spiritual beliefs of each individual—those with faith and those without.
  • A partnership with parishes, congregations, and volunteer Registered Nurses to promote the health and wellness of elders in our communities.
Mercy Care Faith Community Nurses--Who are they and what is their role?

Mercy Care Parish Nurses, also known as Faith Community Nurses, are Registered Nurses who volunteer their time and talents in monitoring the health needs of elders in their parish, congregation, or community. Parish Nurses advocate for whole person health care—body, mind, and spirit—using their health education and spiritual orientation. They serve as:

  • Advocates for whole person healthcare—body, mind, and spirit
  • Personal health counselors
  • Health educators
  • Referral sources and liaisons to community resources
  • Coordinators and educators of volunteers

Mercy Care’s Parish Nurses do not provide “hands on” nursing care or duplicate other direct nursing or medical services.

What are some of the concerns a Mercy Care Parish Nurse might help me with?
  • Understanding the aging process
  • Answering questions about my medical condition
  • Counseling me about preparing for a test or procedure
  • Navigating the health care system
  • Obtaining community services
  • Monitoring my blood pressure
  • Being a listener as I search for the meaning of my experience of aging, illness, or loss
  • Praying with me or sharing faith with me if I so desire
 How can a Mercy Care Friendship Volunteer make a positive difference in an elder neighbor’s life?
  • Accompany to medical appointments
  • Telephone friend
  • A picnic lunch
  • Grocery shopping
  • Praying with me or sharing faith with me if I so desire
  • Friendly visiting in an elder’s home
  • Outings—visits to family, scenic rides, restaurant outings
How can a Caregiver Friend make a positive difference in the life of a person caring for a loved one?
  • Serve as a caring presence and compassionate listener to issues of concern to caregivers
  • Provide information on community resources that may be available to the caregiver and care receiver and assist the caregiver to access those resources.
  • Accompany the caregiver in the decision–making process by being present, providing support and encouraging discernment.
  • Assist the caregiver to identify signs of stress; suggest strategies and service to develop coping skills.
  • Assist the caregiver to develop a plan for self-care and encourage the caregiver in implementation of the plan
  • Assist the caregiver to identify what activities or experiences are spiritually nourishing and take steps to make these available when possible.
  • Provide guidance to the caregiver on communicating with the care receiver
  • Provide guidance to the caregiver on communicating with other family members/friends to strengthenrelationships and to enlist their support in the caregiving endeavor
How do Mercy Care Parish Nurses, Caregiver Friends and Friendship Volunteers relate to each other?

Mercy Care Friendship Volunteers are most likely to notice needs which an aging person or caregiver may have for a health counselor, advocate, or educator. Friendship Volunteers, Parish Nurses and Caregiver Friends work together to help elders and their caregivers navigate access to community resources.