Spiritual support is important at end-of-life for many reasons. Being diagnosed with a terminal illness often causes loved ones to think about death, loss and grief, in ways that haven’t had to before.
Spiritual support helps loved ones approaching the end of life and those close to them including their relatives and friends, too:
Spiritual support doesn’t have to be structured but the expectation is that it would also include assessment and provision of resources to support the person approaching the end of life and those close to them. Spiritual support is tailored to the needs, beliefs and values of the person approaching the end of life. Families and relationships tend to be an important influence on spiritual wellbeing, and much support can be provided from within the family or by close friends.
According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, spirituality is defined as ‘those beliefs, values and practices that relate to the human search for meaning in life. For some people, spirituality is expressed through adherence to organised religion, while for others it may relate to their identities, relationships with others, secular ethical values or humanist philosophies’.
Spiritual needs can include:
People do different things to meet these spiritual needs, depending on what’s important to them. Some people do things within their religion such as prayer or going to a religious meeting. For other people, it could be being with friends and family, spending time in nature or doing work or hobbies.
What’s most important to someone can change over their lifetime.
Encourage your loved ones to talk about how they’re feeling. Someone might have unmet spiritual needs if they are:
There are assessment tools you can use to start the conversation. One of these is the HOPE tool which is based on the questions below:
If you feel unsure about what spirituality means, or you find it difficult to talk about it, you might find it helpful to assess yourself. It can help you to identify and explore your thoughts on spirituality at end-of-life.
At Cavendish Homecare we are experts in providing private palliative homecare for individuals with terminal illnesses who want to return or remain in their own homes. We understand that at such a stressful and sensitive time, specialist nursing care and trustworthy support can make a huge difference. We work to support the patients, their families, friends, district nurses, palliative teams and any spiritual needs to support your palliative care in London.
Mairead Liston, a dedicated figure in healthcare, began her journey as a nurse and midwife, laying the foundation for a remarkable career. Driven by passion and expertise, Mairead established a successful nursing agency, serving as a crucial staffing resource for major hospitals in London and the UK.
In 2010, Mairead founded Cavendish Homecare with a mission to provide exceptional care in the comfort of people’s homes. Mairead’s areas of expertise encompass palliative and end of life care, post-operative care, and cancer care, ensuring the delivery of the highest quality of care to her clients.
Her transformative impact is exemplified through prestigious awards, including the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award and the Chief Nursing Officer in Adult Social Care Silver award, recognising her dedicated service to social care.
By becoming a member of the Guild of Freemen of the City of London, Mairead not only emphasises her active support for both current and future nurses but also plays a vital role in contributing to the ongoing evolution of the nursing profession.