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Category: Pastoral Thanatology RSS feed for this category

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Pastoral Care and Respecting Life To The End Right

Pastoral Care and Respecting Life To The End Right

Right to Die and Pastoral Care? Does Pastoral Care and the aid in helping the suffering patient find death compatable? Many find confusion in this gray area of what is right or wrong.  This ethical quicksand seems to have no clear cut answer at times.  While, as care givers, we understand the reality of extraordinary measures and ordinary measures of preservation of life, but when one comes into contact with such suffering, it becomes difficult to resort to a text book answer. This is the same mental anguish Daniel Kreiger faced in the death of his own mother.  In his

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Doctors Need to Realize the Importance of End of Life Care

Doctors Need to Realize the Importance of End of Life Care

Pastoral Care Provides Relief for the Entire Personhood of Someone Who is Dying   End of life care involves treating the entire person beyond the physical symptoms.  Pastoral Care takes this to another level when the pastoral care giver treats the entirety of the person. Patti Singer, a writer for Democrat and Chronicle.com, explores how doctors are beginning to see and understand the importance of spiritual and emotional care of the dying in her article, “Doctor Shares Vision of Care for the Dying. End-of-life care provides an opportunity — not to deliver the most care, but to provide the best

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Alternatives to the Nursing Home – Pastoral Care Program

Alternatives to the Nursing Home –  Pastoral Care Program

Pastoral Care Program Beyond the Nursing Home Pastoral Care for the elder community is reaching new heights as the baby boomer generation reaches their golden years.  Nursing homes are becoming not the only refuge for the elderly.  With hospice and other programs, the elderly and the sick can find a variety of options.  The article below highlights the other options than nursing homes and hospice. This  to Manish Sahajwani of the San Francisco Chronicle.  In the article, “Alternatives to Nursing Homes”, she lists a variety of other options for seniors. According to the U.S.  Census Bureau, by 2050 more than

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Pastoral Care Looks to Change Traditional Nursing Home Settings

Pastoral Care Looks to Change Traditional Nursing Home Settings

  Pastoral Care and Alternative Nursing Home Settings Unfortunately not every person is healthy enough to enjoy hospice or healthy enough to remain at home in their later years.  This reality has led many to try to reinvent ways to make the nursing home experience a more pleasant experience.  Pastoral Care combined with new and innovative nursing home settings can help the elderly feel “human again” Helen Dennis, in her article, “Alternatives to Traditional Nursing Homes” explores this idea and identifies a plan that could possible change nursing homes. Last week we discussed what to ask and observe when visiting nursing homes

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Pastoral Help For the Entire Family During Terminal Illness

Pastoral Help For the Entire Family During Terminal Illness

Pastoral Care for the Whole Family Pastoral Help sometimes does not touch upon the needs of every family member or various feelings that identify the family as a whole.  It is important to meet the needs of the patient’s family while the patient approaches death. One of the first steps a pastoral caregiver can do is normalize any feelings within the family.  Some family members may be experiencing secondary losses.  They may feel angry at the dying person.  It is important to let them know that this does not make them bad or that this does not mean they do

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Pastoral Care and the Rights of the Dying

Pastoral Care and the Rights of the Dying

Caring for the Dying and Their Rights It is so common to speak about the dying and the  rights of the dying instead of to them.  They almost become the giant elephant in the room.  However, from a spiritual and ethical prism, the dying have rights that must be preserved and respected.  As people they have human rights and their needs, concerns and issues need to be met with compassion and professionalism.  In caring for the dying, we must remember these five rights. The first rights of the dying is that they have a right to know as much of the truth that

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The Pastoral Care Giving Provider as an Exquisite Witness

The Pastoral Care Giving Provider as an Exquisite Witness

What is an Exquisite Witness in Pastoral Care? In Pastoral Care, one crosses the line of just merely a provider but also a spiritual friend.  A friend who is there to comfort and reassure the spiritual and emotional element of a patient.  An Exquisite Witness is one who personifies this element of care of the dying. From a defintion, an Exquisite Witness is a ”health care, pastoral, or volunteer care provider  who enters the sacred space between two human souls-having the deepest respect for the yearning, seeking, and wishful hopes of the other to diminish the pain and survive in a new world after a loss.” Beyond

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Cultural Diversity in Care Giving

Cultural Diversity in Care Giving

Caregivers Need to be Culturally Sensative to Their Patient’s Needs As the world has become smaller, interaction with other creeds, cultures and races has become more prevelant in all aspects of life.  Caregiving is no exception as doctors, nurses, pastoral counselors and other caregivers find themselves in direct contact with different cultures who demand and deserve certain care. Within the area of grief, it is essential, according to John Bowlby, that we understand cross-cultural ideals, especially in grief to better provide the vital care patients need.  Rituals, mourning, and family interaction varies from culture to culture and  health care providers need to respect these particular cultures in their

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Who Cares About the Pastoral Caregivers?

Who Cares About the Pastoral Caregivers?

Pastoral Care for the One Who Cares the Most My grandmother cared tirelessly for my grandfather and as his health gradually deterioated he became more needy in his everyday activities.  Fortunately for my grandfather, my grandmother was a nurse and knew how to care for someone who was gradually becoming less and less physically capable.  Her energy level was amazing and my grandfather through the final two surgeries received top notch care and affection.  After my grandfather’s eventual death, my grandmother finally slowed down some herself, almost as if her body knew she no longer was needed everyday.   Still alive, still moving, but now with a cane,

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Pastoral Care and Use of Advance Directives

Pastoral Care and Use of Advance Directives

Pastoral Care Giving and Advance Directives It is important in Pastoral Care to also ensure that the needs of the dying patient are met in full.  This not only involves physical and spiritual support but also helping one fulfill their end desires for themselves or family.  Advance Directives are essential elements in knowing exactly what the dying patient would want or wish if he/she is unconscious or unresponsive in his/her final hours. An Advance Medicial Directive can solve many problems in regards to who takes charger in an event if the person loses consciousness.  It also lays out groundwork for care givers and medicial providers to