Spiritual care is an important part of elderly home care. It can provide comfort and peace of mind to those who are aging and facing the challenges of life. There are many different types of spiritual services available in an elder home care setting, such as meditation, meaningful time with family or friends, prayer, writing inspirational poetry or spiritual nonfiction, listening to or playing music, religious communities and their leaders, sacred writings, and massage. Meditation is a great way to relax and find inner peace.
It can be done alone or with a group. Meaningful time with family or friends can also provide comfort and support. Prayer is another way to connect with a higher power and find solace. Writing inspirational poetry or spiritual nonfiction can be a creative outlet for those seeking spiritual guidance.
Listening to or playing music can be a calming and uplifting experience. Religious communities and their leaders can provide spiritual guidance and support. Sacred writings can also provide insight into the spiritual world. The therapeutic benefits of massage for older people are well documented. Massage for older people consists of gentle stroking and kneading.
Place a few drops of essential oils such as lavender or geranium in an ounce or 30 ml of carrier oil such as almond or jojoba to bring pleasure and relieve tension. One of the easiest ways to provide spiritual care is to simply ask patients how you can support them and then do everything you can to comply with the request. For example, if your patient is a Greek Orthodox Christian and wants to see a priest before having surgery, call the Greek Orthodox Church in your community and ask if the priest would be willing to pay a visit. However, remember not to promise your patient anything that you are not sure you can keep. Chaplains are also important players in providing spiritual care in elder home care settings.
They direct worship services that include hymns, Bible reading, prayer, and a brief message. Other meetings may be held during the week, such as small groups for prayer and Bible study sessions. The chaplain directs most of these activities, but he also welcomes local church leaders, especially to lead specialized services, such as the Catholic Mass, if he is not an ordained priest. For people with a different faith than their own, the chaplain is sensitive to their preferences and, if possible, helps them. You just need to have a kind heart, understand the value of spiritual care, and know how to access information to meet the spiritual care needs of your residents.
Chaplains are sometimes overlooked as key players in nursing home care and as support for family members.