Spiritual and Religious Care
It is widely recognized that the spiritual is a natural and integral dimension of what it means to be human, and includes the awareness of self, of relationships with others and with creation.
Health and Social Care Scotland recognises that questions of meaning, purpose, hope, or the lack of it, identity and relationship become acute when wellbeing and stability are threatened by illness, injury or loss in oneself or in a loved one. At such times people may need spiritual or religious care.
Spiritual care can be given in one to one or group relationships, is person-centred and makes no assumptions about personal conviction or life orientation. Spiritual care:
- Offers a space in which individuals and their needs are regarded as central;
- Offers person-centred rather than staff-centred care;
- Elicits and honours an individual’s story;
- Journeys with an individual further into the pain, darkness, uncertainty or unknowing;
- Holds out the possibility of other ways of seeing or understanding, without imposing personal views or frameworks;
- Fosters autonomy and self-management rather than dependence and direction;
- Is characterised by an equitable, respectful and non-judgemental relationship between two human beings.
Religious care is given in the context of the shared religious beliefs, values, liturgies and lifestyles of a faith community.
Spiritual care is not necessarily religious.
Religious care should always be spiritual.
Among the basic spiritual needs that might be addressed within the
normal, daily activity of healthcare are:
- The need to give and receive love
- The need to be understood
- The need to be valued as a human being
- The need for forgiveness, hope and trust
- The need to explore beliefs and values
- The need to express feelings honestly
- The need to find meaning and purpose in life
Feelings such as isolation, loneliness, fear, abandonment, distrust, and grief can sometimes be companions to acute illness.
Spiritual care can assist our patients to maintain or re-establish trust, strength and hope and to continue to demonstrate the dignity and uniqueness of their lives.
All staff at St Andrew’s Hospice try to give assistance in these matters supported by the Pastoral and Spiritual Care Team.