Archive for November 2019

The Role of a Hospice Chaplain

Posted on Nov 21, 2019

hospice chaplain

We are all multifaceted beings with different needs. Attending physicians and caretakers tend to our physical health. Social workers can tend to our mental and emotional health. These are both essential members of a hospice care team. Just as these experienced professionals handle their respective specialties, so too does a hospice chaplain tend to the spiritual and many emotional needs of those receiving hospice care.

Navigating a Spiritual Journey

Towards the end of life, one's spiritual health is a crucial facet of their overall wellbeing. For some, the process of dying can be a confusing part of life that provokes a good deal of anxiety, depression, and even anger. Just as they have in life, many will look to spiritual practices, concepts, and specialists to help quell turbulent emotions and prepare them for death. Hospice chaplains help these patients to navigate their spiritual journey.

Who are Hospice Chaplains?

A hospice chaplain is typically a spiritual cleric of sorts employed by the hospice organization. This person is highly trained and experienced in helping those in hospice care and their families to achieve spiritual peace throughout the dying process. They can provide this peace and comfort by helping to answer questions, providing helpful spiritual wisdom to ease the mind and spirit of the patient by listening. Other times, a hospice chaplain best serves just by being silently present.

Hospice chaplains may be of a specific religious denomination, though most will have an interfaith background to assist patients of varying religious paths. All hospice chaplains are specially trained and experienced in unique challenges and concerns of the dying. Some find they may even be of more comfort to them than their regular chosen clerics.

Who Receives the Care of Hospice Chaplains?

Any hospice patient can request the consultation of a hospice chaplain. Some patients will already have a closer relationship with a non-hospice chaplain, such as a family priest, rabbi, minister, or imam — and may opt to visit with them instead. Other patients may not want any form of spiritual guide, instead opting for the spiritual care of friends and family. Regardless of a patient's religious affiliation or beliefs, hospice chaplains of any background will respect their faith and provide any support within their abilities.

Hospice Chaplains Provide Companionship

There are, unfortunately, some in hospice care with very few or no companions to accompany them on their departure. For these individuals, hospice chaplains fill in the crucial role of companion towards the end of life. Chaplains may also play an essential part in filling in any gap between the patient and the care of hospice caretakers and doctors — ensuring that they leave this world accompanied by a loving and compassionate friend.

How Hospice Chaplains Help Families

The dying process can be emotionally and spiritually difficult for close family and friends. Hospice chaplains also assist those close to hospice patients before, during, and even after the death of a loved one. When needed, family members or companions can consult hospice chaplains long after the death of their loved one to assist them while grieving. For most families, their loved one’s hospice chaplain has a precious place in their hearts for the rest of their lives. 

Meet Our Chaplains

If you or a loved one have any questions about the role of a hospice chaplain, you're welcome to reach out to us. If you're looking for an experienced and compassionate hospice care organization based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, we'd love to introduce you to our experienced hospice chaplains.

Reach out to Cura-HPC Hospice & Palliative Care Today

Seeking Help With Grief

Posted on Nov 13, 2019

help with grief hug

There are few instances in life more emotionally painful than losing a loved one. Whether they were a family member or a close friend, the death of a cherished person can leave one feeling lost, alone, sad, angry, or even bewildered. Your emotions may be the result of missing the person or upset that they are no longer living. Caretakers may feel especially confounded due to a void — a lack responsibility —  an aimlessness left by the duties that once consumed their energy. Feeling like you’re floating helplessly adrift, sad, or mad — these are normal emotions. Fortunately, there are many ways to help remedy these feelings. 

Don’t Ignore Grief

Because many are ill-equipped to manage feelings associated with grief after the death of a loved one, they feel that merely ignoring these emotions will make them disappear. This attitude is a tremendous mistake — one that may result in all manner of emotional, psychological, and even physical maladies down the road. It is essential to work through feelings of grief. Fortunately, there is a wide selection of grief management techniques and services from which to choose. 

Little Help From My Friends

One of the most potent forms of support can come from mutual family members and friends of the deceased. Not only are these individuals also grieving a loss, but they’re grieving the loss of the same individual. This mutual loss means a greater alignment of timing, feelings, and reference. The idea of sharing stories about this person can seem potentially pain-inducing at first, but you’ll be surprised how comforting these stories can be — as though this person’s essence has come back for a visit. A series of laughs, tears, and even new stories about this person will not only help to ease your grief but will bind you even closer to the fellow mourners of this loved one. 

Grief Counseling

Grief can be a traumatic event in your life. To better manage this pain, to work through your emotions, and begin to live your life again, there’s absolutely no shame in seeking professional help. Regular sessions with a trained therapist is a great way to attain personalized help and work through problems in a deeper, more profound way. Other forms of grief counseling can be via a support group. Support groups are organized through spiritual organizations, community centers, healthcare systems, or even hospice institutions. Some support groups are specialized for those who have lost parents, siblings, spouses, or even children. These shared experiences intensify the bonds among support group members — some of which go on to be lifelong friends. 

Sick With Grief

We all know that grief can leave you breathless, leave a pit in your stomach, or sap you of energy. Though some of these symptoms are purely emotional, severe grief and depression can result in physical sickness. The stress of a significant loss can reduce your appetite, cause you to crave the wrong kinds of foods, incumber sleep, or make you less likely to exercise. Any of these physical conditions can weaken your immune system and leave you more susceptible to viruses or bacterial infections. Yes, overcoming your grief is also a way to maintain your physical wellbeing. 

Hospice: Not Just for the Dying

Did you know that hospice care is more than a service for the dying, but also offer grief counseling services for the living as well? At Cura-HPC, our work isn’t through with the death of a loved one. Our Bereavement Care services extend for a full year past the death of a loved one. That means a person to talk to, a shoulder to cry on, and the hope of a brighter day. 

Learn More About Cura-HPC Today.