I really enjoyed this webinar! It was extremely practical and had lots of helpful tips. I could see spiritual care practitioners being very creative, adapting the supportive care to meet the needs of individual patients and families.
I could not help reflecting on our experiences at my setting and realize that so many of our folks are referred late in their stage. Then we have the added difficulty of folks actually coming in for family meetings. More often than not, we have had phone meetings as folks are working and can’t get time away. Has anyone else experienced that? Regardless, I think the ideas shared by the presenter were wonderful!
I really enjoyed that webinar as well, Paul. I agree, I loved how practical and helpful it was. I will especially hold onto the questions about what you would like to see/smell/hear/touch. What a great window into what is meaningful to people, particularly for folks who would categorize themselves as not religious.
That was definitely one of my struggles in hospice–often a person would come onto our program when they had only days left to live and it was difficult to do meaningful work together with such short time. Often the focus for families was more on controlling physical symptoms and on being together as a family, such that they did not want a chaplain visit. We did often do phone meetings with family members who could not be present physically. In my experience it was better than nothing, but not ideal. I did have one experience with a patient whose two adult children both lived out of state. The patient was with us for several months, and the children each would visit once or twice a month. I had many phone conversations with each of them to explore how to make the most of their time visiting and how to have conversations they felt they needed or wanted to have with the patient. So that was certainly one of those ideal situations when the phone helped us all to make the most of the patient’s end of life with family. I wish I had had these ideas in my tackle box before as I think they would have been very helpful in several situations. I’m thinking also of some times when a patient was no longer able to communicate verbally with me or with family and it would have been wonderful to know the answers to these either from the patients themselves or from family members as they might have eased some deaths or helped families to know how to support their loved ones.