Michael Savage, our Spiritual Care lead, spoke to us about spiritual care and it's place at Trinity.

What is the purpose of spiritual care in a hospice? Why is it so important?

Traditionally, the four aspects of hospice care are made up of physical, psychological, social and spiritual. It is this holistic vision of the human person that we aim to address, although spiritual care may not be as an obvious need to people initially, it is still an intrinsic part of complete hospice care.

"The primary focus is on flourishing, the opening of the human person, and not the suffering."

Spiritual care might mean different things to different people. Could you explain how does spiritual care at Trinity differ?

Here at Trinity, we make a distinction between the religion and spiritual. Although for some people spirituality might be linked to religion, spiritual care here includes any practice and beliefs. The guidance we provide is based on what people bring with them, not of any ideology. We are here to walk with people as they experience whatever difficulties and challenging questions that they might come across when faced with a life-limiting illness. 

"It is to look at, be with, walk with the person no matter what they bring- be it fear, confusion or loss of identity."

It is about navigating through challenging questions, helping people to journey forward. It is not about finding solutions, but about finding ways to look at the thing that is distressing them. It is guiding people to be more aware, reconnect and find meaning. It could be done in any form, in whatever they feel the most connected with, and sometimes they are done through art, poetry, music or nature.

How do you introduce spiritual care to people?

It is all to do with conversations and connections. Everything here, even the physical, psychological and social aspects of the care are all done through conversations. These include verbal and non-verbal communications. Getting to know each other and understand what they are bringing.

Symbolism is also a key part of spiritual care. We explore symbolic objects or internal symbols that hold meaning for patients. For people that are religious, there are specific objects, prayers, but for many other people, it is about learning the story behind certain personal objects that hold meaning and significance to them, bringing them to a particular time and place. It is about using the symbol to help people reconnect with something that gives them hope, meaning, and even security to some. 

Read the leaflet about Spiritual Care at Trinity

Please select a donation amount: *
Set up a regular payment Donate