Saturday, March 8, 2014

Hospice Chaplains, Spiritual Counselors: Video Interview 6:24

Hospice chaplains and spiritual counselors are available for terminally ill patients and their families as another optional choice to promote quality of life. In recent years, more patients are choosing this service, which has become more flexible in meeting diverse needs, including the needs of those who say they are spiritual but not religious. Trained chaplains bring additional compassion, comfort, and understanding to the death journey, a time when many focus on the meaning of life, their purpose, and general concerns about closure. Of course, patients can still choose counseling from their own personal pastors, priests, and spiritual leaders.

In additional to spiritual counseling, hospice chaplains can also officiate at funerals and memorial services. One of my hospice patients had no family support providing for an end-of-life ritual. The hospice chaplain held a memorial service at the nursing home that included a few nursing home residents, one relative, a friend, and myself. The twelve of us sat in a circle while the chaplain read a spiritual verse. This was followed by each of us commenting on our personal relationship with the deceased. Our death ritual concluded on the front lawn with our singing a spiritual song and the releasing of balloons that the chaplain had brought.

In this video from Community Home Care and Hospice, a hospice chaplain explains what he does, the rewards he receives, and answers many questions people may have regarding his patient-driven spiritual care. He honors one of his patients with special recognition you won’t want to miss.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.

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