Monthly Archives: October 2014

The Role of Spiritual Care Counselors at Cedar Valley Hospice

Spiritual support is available for anyone at Cedar Valley Hospice regardless of religious beliefs. Spiritual care counselors at Cedar Valley Hospice provide spiritual support to patients and their families and caregivers. They offer a non-denominational, open, giving relationship outside the clinical medical routine. For some patients, the chaplain can help ease the social isolation of this life stage.

Spiritual Care at Cedar Valley Hospice

With three full-time spiritual care counselors and two part-time spiritual care counselors on staff at Cedar Valley Hospice, we are equipped to help any patient, family and congregation with their spiritual needs. As a part of National Pastoral Care Week October 19-25, we want to outline how our spiritual care services work so you can be aware of them and the benefits they offer.

  • Notification from a spiritual care counselor- When a member of a congregation is admitted to Cedar Valley Hospice, one of our spiritual care counselors, with the patient’s permission, will notify their pastor, reverend, rabbi or other clergy member. They will also update them when there are changes in the patient’s condition or when a death has occurred.
  • Spiritual care services are optional- Not every patient chooses to use Cedar Valley Hospice’s spiritual care services; they are available for those who wish to use them.
  • Spiritual care services can be accessed at any time- When a patient is admitted to Cedar Valley Hospice, they may initially choose not to use spiritual care services. However, as they near their death, they or their family may decide they want to have the comfort our spiritual care counselors provide.
  • The Cedar Valley Hospice spiritual care counselor does not replace a pastor, reverend or other clergy member- They act more as a coordinator for spiritual care, supplementing when necessary to help patients and families face death with dignity and peace.
  • Our spiritual care counselors respect all religions and beliefs- Regardless of the religious and spiritual beliefs of a patient, Cedar Valley Hospice spiritual care counselors provide and coordinate spiritual support in ways that will help comfort the patient and their family.

The spiritual care counselors at Cedar Valley Hospice are experts in working with clergy members, families and congregations. In addition to providing spiritual care to hospice patients, our spiritual care counselors also offer in-service training for church staff and small to large groups in a faith community, as well as ongoing resources for congregations. When it comes to providing spiritual care for hospice patients, the spiritual care counselors at Cedar Valley Hospice are here to be a source of comfort and help you get the support you need.

Why Everyone Needs to Understand the Importance of Hospice & Palliative Care

World Hospice and Palliative Care Day

At Cedar Valley Hospice, we often hear from families that they wished they had called us sooner. This can stem from simply not knowing what hospice and palliative care are, why they are important and that these vital services are easily accessible right here in the Cedar Valley.

This Saturday, October 11, is World Hospice and Palliative Care Day. This is a day focused on bringing attention to the need for these services and the truly life changing benefits they give to both patients and their families. By creating more awareness about the importance and benefits of hospice and palliative care, Cedar Valley Hospice believes we can help individuals and families through the dying, death and grief processes.

The Importance of Palliative Care

Palliative care differs from hospice care in that it is for patients who are battling an advanced illness, but who don’t qualify for hospice care. At Cedar Valley Hospice, LINK, our palliative care program, stands for:

  • L- listen to patients and their families
  • I- inform patients and their families about resources in their community
  • N- navigate the current health care system easier with help from Cedar Valley Hospice staff
  • K- knowledge; educate patients and family members on health care choices and treatment options

Palliative care through LINK can be given at any time during a person’s illness, from diagnosis onward, and can be provided in conjunction with curative treatment. By focusing on supporting both the patient and their family, LINK palliative care improves their quality of life, enhances communication between the patient and their healthcare providers and is there for the patient and family’s physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs.

The Importance of Hospice Care

Hospice care at Cedar Valley Hospice is so important because support is provided to the patient, family and friends:

  • Care for the patient- we focus on making the rest of a patient’s days good days. This means our medical staff focuses on controlling their symptoms, especially pain, so a patient can enjoy their last days as much as possible.
  • Care for family and friends- social, emotional and spiritual support for family members and friends can help in numerous ways. From running errands and companionship to assistance with advance directives and coordinating with clergy, the Cedar Valley Hospice team of doctors, nurses, aides, chaplains, social workers and volunteers offer compassionate care in many forms.

Cedar Valley Hospice believes “compassionate care” is not just a phrase that is spoken, but rather a way of living and working every day to help and support the patients and families we interact with. Please help us spread the word about the importance of hospice and palliative care.