Bioethics News

Spiritual Care at the End of Life Can Add Purpose and Help Maintain Identity

May 20, 2016

(The Conversation) – Depression at the end of life is often associated with loss of meaning. Research shows people who suffer from such loss die earlier than those who maintain purpose. This can be helped by nurturing the “spirit” – a term that in this setting means more than an ethereal concept of the soul. Rather, spiritual care is an umbrella term for structures and processes that give someone meaning and purpose. Caring for the spirit has strength in evidence. Spiritual care helps people cope in grief, crisis and ill health, and increases their ability to recover and keep living. It also has positive impacts on behaviour and emotional well-being, including for those with dementia.

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