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Today begins with a visit to Isobel, whose husband died a week ago. Before getting out of the car, Robert slips a neatly folded handkerchief into his back pocket. The house is quiet. They both glance at the empty chair beside the sofa—his chair.

Robert listens as Isobel talks about her daughter, who lives three states away and wants Isobel to move in with her. Isobel says she is ready to move—there are too many memories here. She and her husband were married in He holds her hand as they talk more about her loss; Robert hands her the handkerchief when tears appear. Because Isobel is 83 years old, had a long and close marriage, and has no immediate family close by, her VITAS team has developed a special bereavement plan of care for her.

They believe she needs extra attention throughout this mourning period, so Robert and the bereavement specialist will visit her more often than other individuals who have a stronger network of support. The home phone rings and Robert takes this as a sign it is time to leave. He has been with Isobel for nearly an hour. I want to be welcome next time. He tells her he will be calling her and will be back to visit next week. The tall, slender year-old man with a small, jaunty mustache and big smile greets Robert.


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The couple has no children and no immediate family in town. While the hospice aide gives Elaine her bath, Robert has a chance to talk alone with Fred and find out how he is doing.


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  8. Robert listens intently as Fred talks about his wife, his voice thick with emotion, a tear balanced under his eye, his fingers tapping the table. The aide wheels Elaine into the room. She sits in her wheelchair, hair neatly combed, but tears glisten in her eyes. She is worried about Fred, a subject she and Robert have discussed at length in previous visits. Today, Robert encourages them to talk about happy memories.

    The Role of Pastoral Caregivers to the Terminally Ill Patients: A Resource Manual - BlueInk Review

    Fred brings out their wedding portrait and before long the couple is talking, smiling and remembering good times. Until yesterday, Rebecca lived in an assisted living facility.


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    Her son, who lives out of town, wanted her to be transferred to the home of family friends and begin hospice services. Inside the spacious home, Rebecca sleeps quietly. He takes this opportunity to introduce himself and answer any questions the caregiving couple has.

    Pastoral Care Representative, Chaplain-Hospice

    While Robert is there, the team nurse arrives and begins her assessment of Rebecca. By the time Robert leaves, the new patient and her new caregivers are in good hands. Robert never brings his own theological beliefs or opinions into discussions. He comes to each patient with an open mind and avoids assumptions about their religion, culture or beliefs. To those who ask, Robert will read the Bible. Several components of the language of pastoral care are identified.

    Pastoral Thanatology

    International Journal of Palliative Nursing Vol. Marjory Byrne Search for more papers by this author. Cuidados paliativos e espiritualidade: revisao integrativa da literatura. Spiritual care: which is the best assessment tool for palliative settings? Living in the In-Between.

    Senior pastor jobs

    Spirituality in nursing: a systematic review of the literature from — Can nurses enhance spiritual care in end-Of-life settings? Developing spiritual and religious care competencies in practice: pilot of a Marie Curie blended learning event. Spirituality in palliative care: what language do we need?