Providing Companionship and Self-Reflection
Spirituality is the sense a person has regarding the deepest meaning, purpose and values attached to life. Spirituality is most often thought of relative to our relationship with God, but is not always understood or recognized in terms of God. The role of spiritual care in the context of hospice is to:
- Help determine what you believe
- Help to express your beliefs
- Identify what you value most in your life
- Provide companionship
- Discuss faith and spirituality
Spiritual care and presence can help by providing the following to patients, benefiting both the patient and their loved ones:
- Affirmations and hopeful thinking
- Bedside services and blessings
- Breathing exercises
- Dream appreciation
- Gratitude journal
- Guided imagery/visualization
- Healing Touch™, an energy therapy
- Legacy taping (video/audio)
- Life review
- Rituals of healing
- Scripture reading and appreciation
- Soul-searching questions
- Writing prompts for journaling or poetry
- Assisting with planning and performing funeral services
Our spiritual care staff also assist families as they move toward the death of a loved one by addressing the following topics:
- Hope and denial are opposite sides of the same coin, and these feelings can change from day to day.
- What fears are family members feeling, and are they able to talk about them?
- What specific kinds of stress is this putting on the family? How can the stress be addressed and minimized?
- How might conversation and preparation help create a more loving atmosphere in which the death may occur?
- Is everyone in the family able to agree on some common goals?
- In the dying process, it is of utmost importance to listen to the words and to the voice of the patient. The dying person’s wishes must be respected.
- The family should express as much honesty and love as each family member is capable of sharing.
- Quality of life is the objective, rather than simply extending the length of life.