The Chaplain as a 'Hopeful Presence'
Chaplains in healthcare settings offer patients spiritual care that involves companionship, counselling and maintaining hope. This is particularly important at the point where a patient has run out of treatment possibilities. This book reflects creatively on the work that chaplains do with people who are dying and the unique quality of the relationship that palliative care professionals construct with patients at the end of life. Based on qualitative research with practising palliative care chaplains, Spiritual Care at the End of Life explores the nature of hope in its different forms at different stages of terminal illness, and asks how chaplains can help dying people to be hopeful even when facing the inevitability of their death. The book identifies key moments in this relationship, from the person's initial reaction to the chaplain, to the chaplain becoming an accompanying presence and creating the potential to provide comfort, strength and "hope in the present". This thoughtful and inquisitive book investigates the underlying theory that spiritual care is rooted in relationship. It has implications for practice in the work of chaplains, counsellors and all healthcare professionals supporting people who are dying.