Friday, July 22, 2011
Hospice Chaplains: Who Wants Them? (Research, Video 1:11)
Being diagnosed as terminally ill can trigger many thoughts in a person’s mind. Considerations may include if or how their lives matter, what they can do to make their final journey more productive, what happens after death. For those who are inclined toward beliefs in religious or spiritual truths, the hospice chaplain is someone they may want to counsel them with answers.
What do patients expect to receive from hospice chaplain visitation? Who are the people who request this support? Why are these visits important to them? These are questions that the Department of Chaplain Services at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota researched with 4500 eligible medical and hospital patients in Minnesota, Arizona, and Florida. About one-third of the mostly male, married, over age 55 Protestants and Catholics responded from each site with these results:
1) Nearly 70% of patients reported wanting chaplain visitation.
2) Chaplains visited 43%.
3) Indicating that visitation by a chaplain was important were 81% of patients.
4) The strongest predictor of wanting chaplain visitation was denomination vs. no indicated religious affiliation.
5) The most important reason for patients wanting chaplain visitation was that chaplains served as reminders of God's care and presence.
Being religiously affiliated is a very strong predictor of wanting chaplain visitation. In this video, Sig Jaeger, chaplain of Hospice Palm Beach County in Florida, and a patient share their mutually beneficial visitation experiences together:
Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback at many booksellers and in e-book form at Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers.