Genesis Hospice Spiritual Needs

Care of the Spirit

A wake up call to one’s mortality often raises doubts, questions and concerns, and a search for spiritual peace. This is why spiritual care is such an important focus of hospice. The hospice chaplain offers spiritual and emotional care and counsel to patients and their families as they pass through one of life’s most significant transitions.

Chaplains are present to provide spiritual support, regardless of whether the patient and family have religious beliefs or not. As chaplains, we believe while everyone may not be religious, all of us have a spiritual dimension to our lives. Hospice chaplains recognize spirituality as broader than traditional religion; it is an accumulation of hopes, thoughts, feelings, and principals that shape an individual's life experience.

Hospice’s nondenominational chaplains work with patients and their families to help them discover the resources within themselves to guide and comfort them through this time of challenge and change. As compassionate, caring professionals, chaplains are nonjudgmental listeners who assist patients and their loved ones in finding their own paths to wholeness and peace.

Chaplains provide:

  • Spiritual support at home, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and at our own Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House
  • Professional assessment and appropriate spiritual support such as prayer, counseling, scripture reading, sacraments, and memorials when requested
  • Unequivocal spiritual support to patients regardless of culture or faith
  • Valuable insight, input, and advocacy regarding patients as part of the staff interdisciplinary team
  • A liaison between patients and families and their own spiritual leaders

A hospice chaplain does not replace a patient’s pastor, faith leader, or faith community. Hospice chaplains support the patient’s pastor or faith leader during the patient’s end-of-life journey. The chaplain provides listening support by assisting patients and their families with life reviews, fears of dying, and understanding what it means to live with the dying. In addition, the chaplain helps with patient and family reconciliation issues, anxieties, dream interpretation, and visualization which occur during the end-of-life process. The chaplain provides emotional and spiritual support to the patient and family when the patient’s pastor or faith leader is unable or not available to provide the needed support or in times of crisis.

Spirituality at the end of life is not just about religion. It is about looking back in life to find the meaning and purpose of life. The chaplain helps patient with their life story in finding the unique experiences of their lives. The chaplain helps patients explore the questions of what they have done with their lives, what they have taught others about life, their values and fears of life. The patients are encouraged to help others see the dying process in a positive light.

Research evidence shows that people with life-threatening illnesses consider that their quality of life is improved as a result of having their spiritual needs addressed. Depending on assessed need, a chaplain is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays.

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Dealing With Grief

Grief Support Resources

No matter your stage of life dealing with grief is difficult. For questions or help coping with grief, Genesis recommends consulting the CaringInfo Coping with Grief and Loss webpage.

This page, hosted by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, provides up-to date and helpful resources designed to help handle grief and loss.

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