The Role of the Chaplain
Chaplains at Hospice of Southern Maine provide spiritual support to patients, their families and caregivers. Our chaplains bring no spiritual or religious "agenda." They offer an open, giving relationship outside the clinical medical routine. For some patients, the chaplain can help ease the social isolation of this life stage. The chaplain also provides support and counsel to staff members of Hospice of Southern Maine.
Services provided by Hospice of Southern Maine chaplains are varied and adaptable to circumstances. The chaplain offers a calm spiritual presence through companionship, prayers, friendship and a listening heart. He/She is a reminder of the spiritual dimension of our lives, of God, of the Divine—or whatever name is preferred to indicate a higher power or being—and is respectful of the patient's belief system (or lack thereof). Patients are encouraged to reveal their lives as much as they feel comfortable, in appreciation and remembrance of significant people and events, thereby harvesting forgiveness, satisfaction and love. The chaplain listens without judgment, and if possible, helps guide the patients to life acceptance and spiritual peace.
Chaplain visits can be one-to-one with patients and/or with family. The frequency of visits is determined after a visit with patient and chaplain, and in keeping with the plan of care.
At the first visit, the chaplain completes a spiritual assessment. He/She notes any spiritual practices and/or church relationships, encouraging the patient/family to continue if possible. The chaplain may, with the patient's permission, contact the pastor/minister/rabbi/priest to encourage visits. Religious affiliation is not a requirement for chaplain visits.
The chaplain may meet with family members separately and also participates in family care planning meetings.
For more information on Hospice of Southern Maine's Spiritual Support services, please call (207) 289-3640.