Dealing with spiritual needs at the end of life
We all have our own traditions, beliefs or questions about our lives. This can be broader than the rituals of specific religions or churches. Towards the end of life, you may become more aware of these feelings, or your beliefs might change. You might want to think and talk about them.
What can you do?
If you have a specific belief system, then the traditions of your religion or faith system can offer support. Talking about your beliefs and thoughts with your faith leader or friends and family might bring a lot of comfort. Your religious advisor may be able to visit you if you’re in hospital or in a hospice.
Spirituality might involve thinking and talking about your past and the future, or carrying out personal traditions. You may want to think about and discuss questions such as “Why has this happened to me?” or “What happens next?” Talking about these questions can be very helpful. It’s important you can explore your spiritual needs in the last few weeks of your life, if you want to.
If you have specific needs relating to your spiritual or religious beliefs, it’s important the people caring for you know. For example, if you have any specific requests about how you’d like your body to be handled after you die.
What are the physical signs in the last weeks or days?
How can you tell when someone with a long-term lung condition is entering the last stage of life? We explain the physical signs of the final stages and ways these symptoms can be controlled. We also explain what to expect in the final days.
How do I care for a loved one at the end of life?
It can be difficult to see death approaching for someone you love or care about. We explain how you can care for a loved one at the end of their life, how your role as a carer will change and the support that’s available to help you cope.