Key resources for caring for those approaching death
Those interested in the many kinds of Methodist chaplaincy, or who feel called to explore whether this is right for them, should see the Chaplaincy pages on this website, including the Chaplaincy Everywhere and Chaplaincy Essentials courses. To quote from the latter: “In chaplaincy we deliberately place ourselves in the region of potential discomfort. We are away from our home ground and emphatically we are not in control”.
The book Chaplaincy in Hospice and Palliative Care (ed Murphy and Whorton) is also recommended as a starting point for anyone wanting to understand this role. The specialism of Anna Chaplaincy is covered in the next section of this resource, on how we can respond.
MHA (formerly Methodist Homes for the Aged) have produced a simple guide to end of life care, called The Final Lap, downloadable from this page of their website. “Most people probably associate the term ‘palliative care’ with the hospice movement and see it as inextricably linked with cancer and morphine. However, the term is now used much more widely and describes an approach to caring which looks beyond the symptoms and addresses people’s deeper spiritual needs… It is by definition multidisciplinary and involves offering spiritual and emotional support”.
Those wanting more information on the hospice movement, including a variety of briefings and consultations, should refer to the website of Hospice UK, ‘the national voice of hospice care in the UK’. The site also offers a ‘Find a Hospice’ database.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) produces relevant standards and guidelines. While mainly aimed at professionals, these may also be accessed by anyone wanting to understand in more detail what can be expected of the medical profession. Go to the NICE website and search on ‘End of Life Care’.
The Association of Hospice and Palliative Care Chaplains (AHPCC) provides professional support to chaplains and promotes good practice. The website offers resources, largely for those in chaplaincy.
Other sites mainly aimed at health professionals but also for those wanting to know more:
- National Council for Palliative Care
- Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care (see under the Publications tab)
- National action plan for palliative care in Scotland (2008), titled Living and Dying Well
- Social Care Institute for Excellence (search for ‘End of Life’)