Spiritual Care Services
For more information about Spiritual Care Services, please call the Hospice Spiritual Services Department at (360) 493-4679 or (877) 620-3286.
Who provides spiritual care for hospice patients?
Spiritual care is provided by hospice chaplains who are specially trained in listening skills and in understanding death and dying issues. The chaplains are members of the hospice interdisciplinary team, so that a picture of the patient as whole person is a part of their focus. Hospice chaplains can also interface with your own pastor, priest or rabbi if you decide that you wish to continue in their care. In addition, you may receive spiritual care from other members of the hospice team as well.
What issues are discussed with hospice chaplains?
Hospice chaplains will talk with you about whatever you wish to discuss. Many issues patients want to discuss are not necessarily "religious" issues, but life concerns. How has my life had value? What has been important to me in my life? What do I have left to do before I die? Who is important to me?
Other issues are more related to God. Who is God? What do I believe about what happens after I die? Do I need forgiveness? How can I deal with my fears about dying?
Still other issues are specifically religious. How can I get a priest to come? Will a priest give me the sacrament even though I have been disconnected from the church for many years? Am I still a Lutheran even though I haven’t attended church in many years? Can I have communion from a Presbyterian pastor? Will someone come and say a Jewish prayer with me?
Many people simply want another person to come and talk with them about their lives. Life review is a valuable and enjoyable activity for many people, and the chaplains are good listeners.
How can I plan my memorial service or funeral?
Many people do like to plan a service for their family’s sake. Others do not. Spiritual care for hospice patients can extend beyond life issues, if that is what someone wants. Prayers, poetry, scriptures and music can all be chosen ahead of time. If this is your wish, just let a team member know. The family can also request that the chaplain help with the service after the death of the patient.
Hospice is a unique program in that all aspects of a person’s life are considered important. Medical needs are important, but just as important are emotional, social and spiritual needs. Using spiritual care services can be a great asset to your life and your dying.