When it comes to healthcare’s role in dying patients, you need to consider a patient’s spiritual needs. Long ago, in Western Europe and America, the entirety of the healthcare profession was deeply rooted in caring for both the body and the soul. However, as medicine identified to a greater degree, this changed.
At the end of life, spirituality is very important to many hospice care patients even if they aren’t spiritual or religious. It is essential for healthcare professionals to provide spiritual care. This is because of the fact that meeting a patient’s spiritual needs can lead to a better quality of life and an easier outcome.
However, a lack of spiritual care has been tied to higher costs and patient dissatisfaction.
Spirituality and End-of-Life Care
Meeting the spiritual needs of a dying patient and addressing their spiritual pain is very important during the end-of-life process. You need to ensure that you have a basic understanding of how to treat it as a healthcare professional.
Spiritual Care for the Dying
So, what actually is spiritual care for the dying? Well, it can be facilitated in many different ways from peace and connection to helping patients find their meaning in both life and death. It starts by simply being there with your patient and being present while they go through this deep process.
Some things you can say to have a powerful effect on a patient include:
- Please forgive me
- I forgive you
- Thank you
- I love you
- You are loved
These statements alone can make the entire process far easier on both the patient and their loved ones. With these phrases, you reach several important goals of spiritual care such as meaning, hope, love, forgiveness, gratitude, reconciliation, humility, surrender, and awe.
Most of the time, the most effective way to be there for a patient spiritually is to acknowledge the presence of their pain and deal with it with empathy to the patient’s life story. Make them feel heard and remain present with them as they share their thoughts and feelings with you. This often requires us to push far beyond the natural tendency to cover feelings up or push them down as this only creates more roadblocks on the way to healing.
Spiritual pain can be a very challenging symptom at times. To get the best possible spiritual care for your loved one when it is time for them to venture on, contact Hospice Group of Southern California today. We serve patients in Canoga Park, Glendale, Encino, Chatsworth, Thousand Oaks, La Crescenta, Northridge, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, and surrounding areas.
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