Here with Guidance – Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo’s Compassionate Approach to 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
By Rabbi Adam Scheldt
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.
October 20-26 is “Spiritual Care Week” and this year’s theme is about crafting sacred space. 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.