What is a Hospice Chaplain?
When the time comes to shift the focus of treatment from curing a condition to providing comfort and care to patients who are at the end of their lives, doctors often recommend hospice care. The end-of-life care provided by hospice involves so much more than just medicine – it also addresses the psychological and spiritual needs of the patient and family.
For many, religion and end-of-life care are closely intertwined and inseparable. Spirituality provides a deeper meaning to both life and death and can be a significant source of comfort to patients, their families, and their caregivers. A person’s spiritual beliefs and values shape their decision-making when it comes to the care they receive. A hospice chaplain is an integral member of a hospice team who helps patients and their families navigate the spiritual aspects of end-of-life care.
What Does a Hospice Chaplain Do?
At the end of life, many people find comfort in spirituality and turn to a hospice chaplain for guidance. Hospice chaplains set the pace and tone of the spiritual journey. Their work can help the patient and family develop a healthy spiritual outlook and find peace in hard times.
The chaplain for hospice may develop a care plan to promote the patient’s well-being and continuity of spiritual care. This hospice chaplain care plan reflects the patient and family goals throughout hospice and beyond, and details all the services necessary to provide optimal spiritual comfort to the patient, their caregivers, and their families.
Role of Chaplain in Palliative Care
Chaplains also play an important role in palliative care. Also known as comfort care, palliative care helps people living with a serious illness. In this setting, chaplains honor and nurture the spiritual needs of patients, caregivers, and family members as they adjust to the life changes associated with a serious illness. The palliative care chaplain acts as a spiritual advisor who helps patients and family members explore the meaning and purpose of life, assess their spiritual needs, and assists them in establishing a faith community or support team.
How Our Hospice Chaplains Help Patients
The hospice chaplains at Unique Hospice help patients seek, discover, and express the spiritual meaning of their lives, and of their end-of-life journey. Our hospice chaplains offer care that is more spiritual than religious in nature, addressing the nature of life and death. Our hospice chaplains always provide the support that is in accordance with the patient’s own faith preferences.
How Our Hospice Chaplain Services Help Families
Families often struggle with overwhelming emotions when a loved one enters hospice. These emotions can include guilt, sadness, fear, and stress. Family members may also struggle with their faith and feel spiritual anger, confusion, and even betrayal. Chaplains for hospice help family members find the pathway to spiritual healing throughout the patient’s end-of-life journey.
The hospice chaplain may continue providing spiritual support to the family even after the passing of their loved one. As friends and family members mourn and move into the funeral planning stage, a hospice chaplain can provide spiritual support and compassion, even in the most trying times.
If you or a loved one are considering hospice, please take a moment to contact Unique Hospice today. Our hospice chaplains understand the intimate relationship between spirituality and culture, and how they shape the end-of-life experience.