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Here with Guidance – Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo’s Compassionate Approach to Spiritual Care

Spiritual Care

Spirituality has many definitions and is very personal. In addition to religious beliefs, spirituality includes values, hopes, and desires, by which every individual tries to make sense of and understand challenging moments of life.

During times of illness, life transitions and death, we may experience doubt and questioning. We may feel uprooted, set adrift, and utterly alone. Some of us may feel a sense of depression; other times we may become silent, or respond with actions that our loved ones don’t understand.

These experiences can have lasting effects on you and your family. Our non-denominational Spiritual Care Team is here to listen, journey with you, and guide you and your loved ones toward peace, grace and understanding. We will help you find answers as you seek to make sense of this difficult time of your life.

Spiritual Care Services:

Patient — A personal visit may be requested from our Spiritual Care Team. We are available for personal guidance, conversation or just companionship.

Family and Caregiver — Relationships may become tense during stressful life transitions. Our Spiritual Care Team treats each person in a compassionate manner, being sensitive to everyone’s feelings.

Collaborate with Community Clergy — Our non-denominational Spiritual Care Team will work with your clergy and can provide referrals for other religious or spiritual groups.

home is sacredly you: there’s no place like home

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Cliché as it might sound, I think Dorothy (ruby red slippers and all) had the right idea. Wherever “home” is for you, it’s usually a place that conjures up thoughts of comfort and solace; a place you identify with—that’s your own. Not all of us are as fortunate to have such a place, but most of us have a vision we see clearly in our mind’s eye that fits the bill—a place where we feel connection to ourselves, family, and friends, imbued with memories and meaning, adding our own sacred touches to transform our surroundings into a home.

As Director of Spiritual Care at Hospice Buffalo, this notion of sacred space and home is at the forefront of my mind. When patients and families come to us, they have often been through hospitals and healthcare facilities. They are tired, emotionally burdened, and apprehensive. They want what’s best for themselves and their loved ones, and also want to feel at home.

A home in its truest sense can be anywhere. In the minds of many, hospice is a physical place with a physical location. Hospice Buffalo is adjacent to a nature reserve and home to an education center, bereavement center, offices, gardens, and a beautiful 22-bed in-patient unit for acute and respite care. However, most of our nearly 1,000 hospice and palliative care patients are where they prefer to be—home. They don’t come to us; we come to them. Regardless of place, we create a sacred space of caring, compassion, and comfort.

Spiritual care is an essential part of care and comfort. We help patients and families see and inhabit past and present meaning-filled moments in their lives so that they become sacred. As spiritual care providers, we help them find meaning, catharsis, and profound comfort. However, this gift need not be relegated to hospice care. There are ways we all can cultivate meaning and add a touch of sacredness to our lives to enrich our experience of living and deepen our ability to enrich the lives of those we love.

Try these three steps for cultivating meaning and crafting sacred space in your life.

1. Simply notice. Think about how you spend your time and notice where you go to relax, unwind or have fun.

2. Set an intention. Next time you go to your favorite chair to read or take your favorite path while walking, notice and set an intention for what you are about to do, and name your reading or walking as a meaning-filled experience.

3. Reflect with gratitude. When all is said and done for the day or the week, look back on your meaning-filled experiences and offer a brief moment of gratitude for each one.

Doing this takes very little extra time. Try it for a few months, and you will begin to notice a shift toward a richer, grounded life of greater depth and sacred space.


Rabbi Adam Scheldt
Director of Spiritual Care 
Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo

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Many people who are approaching end of life often question:

  • “How do I leave my family?”
  • “How do I say good-bye to the people I love?”
  • “How will my family cope?”
  • “What was my purpose in life?”
  • “Why me?”

Hospice Inpatient Unit Chapel

Our beautiful non-denominational chapel provides a quiet place for you and your family to reflect, pray, meditate, worship ~ whatever brings you peace.

Our beautiful, non-denominational chapel on our Mitchell Campus in Cheektowaga provides a quiet place for you and your family to reflect, pray, meditate, worship -- whatever brings you peace.


  • “Imagine the miracle of someone saying to you, ‘Don’t worry about anything. If you need a doctor’s appointment or something from the grocery store, call me and I will have a volunteer pick it up for you. If you need somebody to help you with anything, call me. We are here for you.’ Such comforting words from my Social Worker.”
    – Shirley Rosenthal, Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo Patient
  • "What an amazing place to trust the end-of-life care of a loved one."
    – James Kelly
  • "A very attentive staff that is non- intrusive, yet extremely attentive. The staff really goes out of their way to make sure you have everything you need for this transition. My mother passed on July 23rd. The final prayer was comforting and very well spoken. I really think highly of this place because I've never seen a group of people that really tend to your loved ones so delicate. Thank you Hospice Buffalo for doing so much for my family."
    – Pubg Hero
  • "I can’t say enough good things about Hospice Care! The care my mother was given was actually loving care. They did not treat her differently because she was in her 80s; they still took care of her. They all were wonderful, making sure she was turned when she was supposed to be, always made sure she was comfortable, talked to her as she was, a human being, even though she couldn’t talk anymore. Mom knew she was now in good care and so did we. They always made sure the family was doing OK also. I call them angels on Earth! Thank you for caring!"
    – Bernadette Spinnegan
  • “I really didn’t think anyone could help me until Home Connections became involved. Dr. Kerr visited me and gave his undivided attention, focusing on my symptoms and less on my disease. I finally feel like I will get back to normal one day. When the nurse from Home Connections came in, I felt so much relief that she was able to help communicate with all of my doctors. It’s very stressful to have to do all of that on my own. I cannot thank Home Connections enough for working to get me a new mattress. I can't believe someone would do this for me!”
    – Kim, Home Connections patient
  • "A wonderful place! The staff is very caring and compassionate, not only to the patient but their families too. I can’t thank them enough."
    – Janice Marie
  • 'Hospice in its entirety is a wonderful organization. Once my dad had stopped chemo, he had hospice coming to the house for 3 months or so. All of the people, from nurses to social workers to the chaplain, were so caring of him and the family. Once things got too bad, he was admitted to the hospice facility and everyone there was just as wonderful. They were caring and respectful of my dad and of our family. I want to thank all involved with them for making the end a little easier."
    – Michael John
  • "My sister and my friends have been at Hospice and passed there. It is the most peaceful, compassionate place to be for the last days! You are welcome to visit at any hour! When I have seen others pass recently I thought ‘Why weren’t they at Hospice?’ They have a special staff there uniquely qualified for a special calling. God bless them and let us keep it going!"
    – Cindy Trojanowsky
  • "Hospice made my dad’s last days more comfortable. But more importantly, they made things easier for my mother."
    – Rick Mahoney
  • "Wonderful staff! They made the process so much easier for me and my family. I couldn’t thank them any more for taking great care of my mother. Thank you all!"
    – Sissy Driscoll
  • "Hospice has offered me great comfort as I carry heavy grief. It is a sacred place for me; a place I still visit to visit with my Angels. Thank you Hospice for always being there for me."
    – Stacy Schwab
  • "Hospice Buffalo is amazing! The in-home care and now the acute care my grandfather is receiving is the best. They are so supportive and such special people. Not only are they taking care of my sick grandfather but also taking care of us, the family, and checking in to make sure we ate too and be there for us to ask any questions. So thankful for Hospice Buffalo."
    – Ashley Marcantonio
  • "I absolutely love Hospice! The people that help us are all amazing. I've never been able to rely on people like I do with the group that is helping us. Everyone is on top of everything. The nicest people to deal with! I can't thank them enough."
    – Debbie M. Rich
  • “We are so thankful for the angels sent to our family through Essential Care, for Matthew's wonderful, loving personality,
    the time we have as a family, and our faith.”
    – Linda Evans
  • "Shout out to Hospice Buffalo home health Team 5 who has been helping us with dad the past couple of months. They sent him a nice Veteran’s Day card with a star from an old flag. They are all so nice from his two aids, nurse, social worker, massage and music therapist, who sings and plays guitar, and even the volunteer who cut his hair along with my sister, sister-in-law and brother. It takes a village! But I know he appreciates the help and company, and being able to stay in his home. Update: Hospice continues to be kind to my dad. I know Medicare pays for expenses and that is wonderful too but the care given is great. He turned 94 on the December 3rd. Hospice brought him nice cards, a lap blanket, and his favorite chocolate cake with chocolate frosting! Thanks again!"
    – Lynda Gordon
  • It was nice to know I could finally relax and trust a group of really caring folks.
    – Nancy, Buffalo
  • I wish I could personally thank each person that helped us with my dad (if you knew him when he was well, you would have enjoyed his humor and zest for life)
    – Deborah
  • I admire all the people involved in Hospice. They are very strong and very tender...I know...had them for my wonderful husband Nick.
    – Evelyn, Buffalo
  • "Music was a very important part of my family's life. I loved my mother's smile, and music therapy made her smile, every time, all the time. The music therapist often welcomed others in the nursing home to join in, giving my mother extra socialization. I will always be grateful for the care my mother received through Hospice Buffalo and the special extras like music therapy."
    – Lisa Feldman
  • "Been a volunteer since my grandfather passed in Hospice due to the phenomenal care from Hospice. 100%."
    – Audra Hollander
  • "The help we received while my husband was sick at home was terrific and the counseling I received for the last 13 months after his passing was wonderful. I miss you all very much."
    – Lois, Tonawanda
  • "Mom lost her battle with cancer today. The beautiful people and facilities that comprise Hospice made her last days full of love and dignity. I cannot properly express what it meant to our family. I'll never forget it."
    – Rebecca Richter Bonk
  • "I've had several family and friends assisted through Hospice Buffalo. Each situation was unique to the other, but Hospice and their caring professionals were amazing in each."
    – Vickie Eberth
  • "They are all so caring and compassionate. Even the woman who cleaned my husband's room was so sweet and caring. I can't say enough good things about Hospice Buffalo."
    – Teresa Raiff Izzo
  • "Not coming here but if you need the care this is a great place! The staff is unreal! They show in every way they are not robots they truly care! The facility is very comforting!"
    – Joe Caulfield Sr.