• Meet Baylor’s nationally renowned expert on counseling, social work and elder care

    Dr. James Ellor‘s education — a bachelor’s in sociology, master’s degrees in social work and divinity, and both a D.Min. and a Ph.D. in working with the elderly — gives him a unique viewpoint on the intersection of faith and care for the elderly.

    Since 2004, Ellor has taught in Baylor’s Garland School of Social Work, serving today as the Dorothy Barfield Kronzer Endowed Professor in Family Studies and the doctoral program’s co-director. His research includes work in endosomal therapy, hunger, spiritual assessment, meaning and aging, and the role of the church — especially among the elderly.

    Ellor is adamant about the effect religion has on mental health. He’s a proponent of adding “soul care” to Alzheimer’s treatment and encourages church leaders to fight against the idea of a judgmental God, which only contributes to a pervasive sense of hopelessness. “There are still faith communities that will say all one needs is God. I would affirm, as a pastor, that everyone needs God, but there are other professionals that can be helpful to them,” he’s said.

    He’s also an expert on the signs of elder abuse and what you should know before choosing a nursing home. For example, is the facility accredited? What kind of recreational activities does it have? How does the nursing staff talk to the residents?

    And finally, immediately after the 2012 West Fertilizer Plant explosion, Ellor served as a volunteer psychologist, helping first responders and community members cope with their initial mental and emotional anguish. Since then, he’s become a sought after source for updates on the community’s welfare.

    Sic ’em, Dr. Ellor!

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