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Meeting the Spiritual & Religious Needs of Terminally Ill Seniors

By Melissa Hill, 9:00 am on

It’s very common for seniors to rely on religion and spirituality to help them cope with terminal illness and death. Even if a senior isn’t religious or spiritual, spiritual needs can be just as crucial as other needs at the end of his or her life. Providing religious care can help your loved one find a sense of purpose and healing towards the end of his or her life.

Be Respectful

Sometimes, it can be second nature to impose our opinions or beliefs on other people, but for terminally ill seniors, it’s important to just be with them and be respectful of their religion and customs.

Acknowledge the Circumstances

When a senior finds out he or she has a terminal illness, it’s naturally very frightening. The worst thing anyone can do is avoid discussing the situation. If your loved one does not want to discuss it, it’s important to respect his or her wishes. However, a helpful strategy to begin a conversation about the situation would be to acknowledge and empathize with his or her fear.

Offer Connection with Spiritual Leaders

Offer to contact a member of your loved one’s spiritual team or other local spiritual leader. Whether your loved one is in a facility or receiving at-home care in Oklahoma, members of the clergy are readily available to meet with seniors and attend to any of their religious and spiritual needs at the end of their life.

Provide Spiritual Counseling

Modern hospice care has begun providing spiritual counseling, respite, and education for grieving loved ones. Sometimes continuing this support to the family after the senior has passed away can help the loved ones deal with death in a way they feel comfortable with. People often need help in understanding the finality of death, and religion is a common way of guiding that acceptance.

At Home Care Assistance of Oklahoma, we understand the mental and emotional challenges families face when providing end-of-life care for an aging loved one. We provide flexible and comprehensive hourly and live-in care for seniors in Oklahoma so families can focus on what’s most important—spending quality time with their loved one. Please give a dedicated Care Manager a call at 405-285-4191 to find the care and support you, your family, and loved one need and deserve.