Chaplains are essential members of a hospice care team. They are professionals who assist both the patient and the family in navigating religious and spiritual difficulties throughout the patient’s time in hospice.
Chaplains are not meant to promote a specific religion or attempt to convert patients to a religion but instead are meant to help the patient to assess, plan, and carry out any spiritual needs that may arise. The two main ways a chaplain can assist in hospice care are grief support and pastoral services.
Chaplains work alongside social workers and counselors to ensure the family is well-supported throughout the entire ordeal. Part of the mission of hospice care is to provide strong emotional and transitional support to the loved ones of the patient as they live out their lives.
Chaplains are able to provide pastoral services if the patient or family so desires. This can include helping the patient to navigate negative end-of-life emotions, such as fear or regret. It can also include helping a patient to come to terms with their own spirituality and view of the world.