When it comes to spiritual health, it is also an important part in the residents care as it involves the whole aspect of the person in finding the deeper meaning in life. In the branch of science called psychology, a spiritually healthy individual means that the person has met the utmost level of basic human needs. This means that the person has already fulfilled the sense of completeness also known as self-actualization.
Self-actualization is expressed by individuals who have found meaning in nature, music or religion thus reflecting their belief in a higher power. Holistically speaking, a person who is considered healthy is a person who also has a healthy spirit hence this individual view life positively, with sense of humor and hope for the future. Difficulties are faced courageously and accepted as part of life.
Spiritual distress on the other hand is the opposite of spiritual health and is a negative view of the person to changes in life and they tend to see the future as something hopeless.
This kind of perception to life can greatly affect the severity of patient’s illness and condition. Based on research, old people who have spiritual distress or have lost his or her will to live often die even with proper treatment.
For you to know the resident’s spiritual needs, it is crucial to know the person by finding out what matters to them the most through listening them. For this to happen, you need to establish a trusting relationship or a good rapport in order to openly talk about the matter. After you listen to their views and determining cues about their spiritual needs, you should support them and address their needs.
To do that, you need to organize a plan of care where residents can practice their religion and also respect them regarding the religious objects that they may carry. A simple way to connect is also to pray for them or involve yourself in their practices especially if you have the same religion.
If you are not comfortable with participating with them in their religious rituals then seek advice from nurses who can refer them to religious counselor who can help them in their spirituality. Do not be judgmental or disapprove the resident’s religious practices as they reflect discrimination and disrespect to them and their religion.
There are times that residents choose not to participate in religious activities therefore encourage them in their way of expressing their other forms spirituality.
Aside from being just a good listener to residents about their religion and beliefs, it also important to relate these aspects to your own religious beliefs and practices not for the motive of comparing and discrimination, but with imparting hope.