During a patient’s end-of-life journey, complex feelings, emotions, and relationship dynamics often arise. Our credentialed social workers and chaplains support patients and families throughout this journey, providing resources and support that are customized to each person and situation.
Navigating the end of life can be complex. There may be funeral arrangements to plan, social services or veteran’s benefits to access, or a patient and family might need assistance with planning for how to discontinue utility services. There can also be complex family dynamics to navigate or grief that requires counseling. When it comes to helping navigate end of life, there are needs that arise that a licensed professional can best assist with. Emotional support, counsel, and guidance while you deal with stress is especially important at this time. Our licensed Social Workers are specially trained in end-of-life care issues. During the social worker’s visit, he or she will assess the needs of the patient and family and focus on maximizing their quality of life. As part of the interdisciplinary team, the social worker collaborates with all involved in the patient’s care to help patients and families determine how hospice can best serve them.
How Would a Social Worker Support Me?
Our social work program helps our patients and families in a multitude of ways, including counseling, education, help with accessing community resources, and grief support. In addition, our social workers assist those in need of alternate residential settings, supports individuals experiencing financial crises, and facilitates referrals to outside social service agencies.
Collaborating with a Social Worker Can Include:
- Learning about what hospice is and how to process the end-of-life journey
- Acknowledging emotions surrounding news of a terminal diagnosis
- Identifying family/caregivers’ needs and the need for a caregiver and/or respite service
- Support for an overwhelmed caretaker
- Anticipatory grief for those experiencing the loss of a loved one
- Conflict resolution amongst the patient’s support system
- Assistance with advanced directives such as a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (DPOA-HC) or Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR)
We understand that spirituality means something different to everyone, and Seasons chaplains honor all faiths and religious traditions. We believe that all people can be spiritual, regardless of religious affiliation or devotion. If Seasons does not have a spiritual caregiver of the faith background of one of our patients, they will draw upon their strong network of community interfaith resources to connect our patients and families to someone who can support them during their hospice stay.
How Would a Chaplain Support Me?
We offer spiritual care to all who desire it, including patients, families, partners, or friends. Our chaplains will honor your faith tradition and beliefs, or support your search for spirituality. Seasons can provide you and your loved ones with spiritual support that speaks to your faith journey, however you define it.
Spiritual issues can provoke awe, wonder, joy, fulfillment and unity. Spirituality may also be expressed in some of the most difficult moments of fear, terror, guilt, and brokenness. And spirituality can be divisive too, when different family members have different beliefs. Our chaplains help you process these valid feelings and experiences that often take the front seat at the end of life.
Hospice provides chaplains as a core service, but also understands that not all patients require or desire a spiritual component to their care. Whether you choose to have our chaplain visit is entirely up to you.
Spiritual Care with a Chaplain Can Include:
- Discussing and processing feelings or doubts about religion or spirituality
- Processing belief systems that you grew up with and have questions about
- Praying or meditating
- Expressing fears about end of life
- Companionship and conversation
- Helping family members with different spiritual views talk to each other about end of life and death
- Cooperation with your own local faith community and/or clergy to support the patient and family
- Identifying resources and local community organizations that may meet a patient and family’s needs
- Help for both the patient and family with feelings of loss, anger, and grief
- Meeting with the family after the patient has died to help process grief and complex feelings