November is National Hospice Month, but here at HPCCR, it is also the month when we acknowledge our Chaplains and Grief Counselors for the wonderful work they do with our patients and their families. Our chaplains provide spiritual care in patient homes, our assisted living and nursing home communities, and also at our Levine & Dickson Hospice Houses, and they do this regardless of any religious affiliation patients and families may or may not have.
While our medical staff is focused primarily on what the illness is, our spiritual care team helps focus on what the patient/family interpret that the illness means and, through various interventions, they help process this in a way that brings comfort and hope. They meet people where they are spiritually and help take them where they want to go. They listen, provide spiritual and emotional support, and do it all with a comforting, non-judgmental presence.
Our grief counselors also provide comfort and hope through supportive individual counseling, grief groups, opportunities for memorializing and special events like Chameleon’s Journey, our overnight children’s grief camp that has been providing help, hope and healing to campers and parent/guardians since 2000. They also provide support to members of our community, regardless of the type of loss they have experienced. Working with a grief counselor helps survivors begin the move from sorrow to stability, providing an anchoring presence that helps hurting hearts know that someone is there who, both understands and, cares.
All of our chaplains are Masters-level clinicians, with several having earned advanced degrees and/or Board Certification. Our grief counselors are also all Masters-level clinicians, licensed as Clinical Mental Health Counselors or Clinical Social Workers. Hospice care is interdisciplinary care, and our chaplains and grief counselors are an important part of that process.
During November, we salute them and say Thank You for how you touch the lives of our patients and their families.