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Community Care Hospice

1669 Rombach Ave.
Wilmington, OH 45177
Phone: 937.382.5400
Fax: 937.383.3898

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Hospice of Central Ohio

Newark

2269 Cherry Valley Rd.
Newark, OH 43055
740.788.1400

Inpatient Care Center

1320 West Main St.
Newark, OH 43055
740.344.0379

Hospice of Central Ohio at
The Ohio State University
Wexner Medical Center

410 W 10th Ave - 7th Floor
Columbus, OH 43210
614.685.0001

Ohio's Community Mercy Hospice

Mitchell-Thomas Center
100 W. McCreight Ave., Ste. 400
Springfield, OH 45504
Phone: 937.390.9665

Ohio's Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties

5940 Long Meadow Dr.,
Middletown, OH 45005
513.422.0300

Ohio's Hospice of Dayton

324 Wilmington Ave.
Dayton, Ohio 45420
937.256.4490
1.800.653.4490

Ohio's Hospice of Fayette County

222 N. Oakland Ave.,
Washington Court House, OH 43160
740.335.0149

Ohio's Hospice Loving Care

Ohio's Hospice Loving Care

56 South Oak Street
P.O. Box 445
London, Ohio, 43140

Ohio's Hospice LifeCare

1900 Akron Rd.,
Wooster, OH 44691
330.264.4899

Ohio's Hospice of Miami County

550 Summit Ave., Ste. 101,
Troy, OH 45373
937.335.5191

Chaplains Provide Virtual Support To Patients And Families During COVID-19

Chaplains Provide Virtual Support to Patients and Families During COVID-19

Chaplains provide spiritual support to patients and families, regardless of their faith identity. Chaplains’ spiritual care can give them comfort as they work through life reflection and end-of-life solace. During COVID-19, chaplains are finding new ways to connect and offer support to patients and their families while maintaining social distancing practices.

“Before COVID-19, chaplains would meet with patients and families in-person and conduct a spiritual assessment to identify a spiritual plan of care,” said Gayle Simmons, manager of chaplains at Ohio’s Hospice. “Chaplains would continue to meet with the patients and provide a non-judgmental listening presence and give them opportunities to voice feelings such as fear, personal control, hope, reconciliation and loneliness.” 

A chaplain’s presence to facilitate these feelings helps patients through their end-of-life journey.

“Due to COVID-19, our chaplains have had to adjust how they perform their duties,” Simmons said. “However, they are not ceasing their operations — they are simply articulated differently.”

Chaplains are utilizing phones and video chat to conduct spiritual assessments with patients and families and implement spiritual care plans virtually. Some chaplains are also using video chat to officiate religious services for patients, such as Holy Communion.

Chaplains are also practicing self-care in order to cope with the stress challenges of COVID-19. They are coping by going outside, exercising, reading, gardening and staying connected with loved ones. 

Additionally, Simmons provided the chaplains an opportunity to engage in a religious lament, which allowed them to voice the challenges they’re facing during COVID-19.

“Psalms of lament give voice to suffering and pain; they cry out to God, ask for help, and respond with trust and praise,” Simmons said. “Through this psalm of lament, we express some of the pain we may be feeling.” 

Simmons strives to provide a space for chaplains to share their struggles. “Change is hard!” Simmons said. “But they have accepted and embraced the new way of being present for patients, and they are excelling with these changes.”

While COVID-19 has brought many challenges, the chaplains have found a bright spot among this time of uncertainty and difficulty.

“The positive side of all this is that for those patients and families with whom our chaplains are able to connect, they have found that the visits are much longer and the connections with the family members are much deeper,” she said. 

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