Finding one’s spiritual resilience in hospice care
During Hospice and Palliative Care month, it’s important to highlight the full, holistic value that hospice services can bring to the patient and the family. While some roles on the hospice team are obvious, the chaplain’s role may be less so. Some may resist having the chaplain play a part in their hospice care because they are “not religious”, don’t belong to any religious group or have changed their religious beliefs.
But it’s important to note that the chaplain is not tied to a religious order or a specific religion. Rather, the chaplain responds to the spiritual needs of the hospice patient and his/her family. The chaplain offers patients and families an opportunity to express their hopes, concerns, and beliefs and to explore ways they can find peace.
Pastoral Care Week chose spiritual resilience as this year’s theme. Indeed, that is perhaps what hospice chaplains try to do: to offer hospice patients and their families spiritual support and a way to grow or strengthen a sense of spiritual resilience.
And, what exactly is spiritual resilience? Taking its roots from one’s own sense of spirituality, beliefs, values and outlook, it represents a person’s ability to navigate through life’s greatest challenges. In hospice, this is ever so purposeful and meaningful to those experiencing loss. The chaplain’s role is to help steer that navigation – to guide the person(s) towards a better understanding of his/her purpose and meaning, connections to the sacred, nature and relationships, and a better sense of themselves and the world around them.
The chaplain can be a resourceful and beneficial gift in hospice care. We encourage you to take advantage of your whole hospice team at NVNA and Hospice and meet our chaplain.