210.691.3600 ​             830.895.0433 ​            469.995.2456

   San Antonio                                 Kerrville                                 Dallas/Fort Worth

During the hospice journey, patients often have religious and spiritual concerns.  They may be Christian, Jewish, Hindu Buddhist or other expressions of religious institutions. In hospice, we are interested in the experience of the patient/family’s spiritual life, if that is important to them. We try to ascertain the patient’s level of participation in his/her religion, the significance of the faith community now, and if that community and clergy are meeting spiritual needs. If not, Hospice will be the bridge to bring the two together, or may, through spiritual counselors, try to help meet the faith needs. We offer traditional practices, such as reading scripture, prayer, rites of forgiveness and reconciliation, meditation and in Christian tradition, the Eucharist or Communion and will help facilitate in finding mentors of other faiths.                                                                                                                       

The Hospice Program

Emotional & Spiritual Support
Home Assistance Services

Bereavement coincides with the imminent dying and death of the individual and consists of two stages: separation and mourning.

Separation occurs when the loved one’s consciousness diminishes and awareness of the environment vanishes. At this time, the family fully experiences their loss and the loneliness of separation. Self-absorption is the hurdle for the family to overcome now. Hospice intervention is directed toward promoting intimacy, if family members are to be supported in their ability to grieve within their family network.

Mourning begins when the reality of impending death hits. The obstacle for the family to overcome here is guilt. Human grief is as strong and as unique as the relationship that has been severed. Grief is a personal experience, different for each member of a family who is grieving over the loss of the same person.  Embrace Hospice has a team approach to treating not only the patient, but recognizes the entire family. Bereavement services are available for 13 month after the death of a loved one. This includes visits, telephone calls, mailings, support groups and memorial services.        

Emotional and spiritual care is a guiding principal of Hospice. Some of the primary concerns of a dying patient are spiritual questions related to sense of purpose, the meaning of life, self-image and hope for the future. The knowledge that we will die soon demands us to explore our beliefs.

Consistent with all hospice concepts, spiritual care should give the patient the opportunity to assess and self-evaluate within a defined spiritual perspective; to investigate beliefs, not just take them for granted. Some of the spiritual needs we look for are:

  • re-examining beliefs

  • exploring beliefs of an afterlife

  • reconciling life choices

  • exploring one’s contributions and achievements

  • examining loving relationships

  • discovering meaning

  • the need for fellowship and spiritual conversation

  • prayer and meditation

  • religious rituals, such as communion, confession scripture.

The Hospice Chaplain is there to meet the spiritual needs of all hospice patients whatever their faith or belief stance. All persons have spiritual concerns when facing death. The hospice chaplain may assist hospice patients explore their belief stance, personalize it and use it creatively to cope with living and dying.

Care that focuses on reducing the physical and mental impact of symptoms increases the comfort and day-to-day life of your loved one is our core guiding philosophy for pain management.  This covers not only the physical pain that may come with illness but also the emotional and spiritual difficulties that may accompany the experience. We know that each person who experiences a life-limiting illness will need a care plan that’s tailored to their symptoms, illness, and temperament.  This requires a different strategy than those used to treat a disease where the patient is expected to eventually recover.  Care focuses not on the illness itself but rather on the symptoms the illness causes the patient to experience. We’re here to ensure your loved one remains as comfortable as possible no matter the type of illness or advanced stage of his or her health.  

For example:
Symptom relief:  There are many discomforting symptoms that can make it difficult to live each day, but these side-effects of illness or pain medication need not control a person’s life. Some illnesses make it hard to breathe, and others may cause a patient to suffer from nausea. There are treatments available to ensure the comfort of the patient at any point in his or her illness.
Pain relief:  Treating pain associated with illness often requires medication, but someone who is suffering from a terminal illness may require pain medication in high doses to combat extreme pain. Our health care team helps create the most appropriate pain relief schedule for the patient while monitoring the patient to ensure those medications are successful.

If you are unsure if hospice care is right for you or your loved one, a pre-hospice consultation may be helpful. A pre-hospice care consultation may consist of the following services:

  • Medical assessment by registered nurse or our medical director
  • Current and previous treatment review
  • Review of responses to previous treatments
  • Discussion with the patient and family regarding life goals
  • Symptom management discussion
  • Information on Medicare and Medicaid benefits for those with terminal disease(s)

To schedule a pre-hospice consultation or to talk to a Embrace Hospice Care Consultant,  please call us today, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Pain & Symptom Control    

In order to meet all your care needs, Embrace Hospice will arrange for all your equipment to be delivered to your home, which may include:

  • Oxygen 

  • Suction equipment

  • Nebulizer

  • Hospital bed

  • Pressure-relief mattress

  • CPAP and BiPAP

  • Wheelchair and other specialty chairs

  • Walker, cane, tub seat and bedside commode
Medical Supplies & Equipment  

Embrace Hospice patients may need help with everyday tasks. Sometimes we can help make home a more comfortable, easier place for those with terminal illnesses, and both medical professionals and a team of trained volunteers are available to help with household chores and with care at home.

Sometimes the broader hospice team is involved here as well–dietitians, massage therapists, and volunteers who provide companionship and friendship to hospice patients, especially those living alone.

Most often, patients have a strong desire to remain at home until the very end. We choose to support this desire as fully as possible, and help those who want to stay at home in familiar surroundings and close to loved ones do so.