Emotional and Spiritual Support

Each Patients Experience at the End-of-Life will be Unique

St.  Luke Missionary Hospice offers emotional and spiritual support for both patients and their loved ones. Some individuals have many loved ones or friends around them while others may take comfort in the support provided by caring hospice staff members or volunteers. St.  Luke Missionary Hospice intends to provide a peaceful environment for any patient regardless of his or her situation.  The social worker, chaplain, and sometimes other hospice team members help provide emotional and spiritual support.

Role of the Social Worker
Social workers, if requested, answer questions and help loved ones talk about how they are feeling and what they are experiencing.  Should tensions arise among family members or loved ones, the social worker can offer assistance in discussing difficult issues.

Role of the Chaplain
The hospice chaplain, if requested, can work alone or with the family’s spiritual advisors to answer questions and guide conversations about the meaning of life, death, and other faith-based issues the patient and loved ones may want to discuss.  Both the social worker and chaplain also offer caring companionship, lead discussions about death and dying, and assist with grief and bereavement.

Support for the Caregiver

The primary caregiver and the patient’s family are invited and welcome to talk about their feelings with our hospice nurse, social worker, and chaplain. Because caregiving is such a great responsibility, caregivers need to take care of themselves.  Otherwise, they may become physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted.  Caregivers may choose to share experiences and talk openly and honestly to someone other than the loved one they are caring for.  Keeping feelings or emotions inside can be harmful.  Expressing and sharing them can be freeing.  Find someone to talk with and cry with, someone who will just listen and not judge.

Caregivers may also want to continue their own spiritual practices and routines and talk with the hospice chaplain, their own spiritual advisor, or a social worker about personal questions.

St. Luke Missionary Hospice provides families and loved ones with bereavement support free of charge for one year after a death.  Caregivers will receive letters and phone calls on a regular basis during this time.  Caregivers will have opportunities to participate in grief support groups or individual counseling and the option to hold memorial services.