Promoting Research Literacy for Improved Patient Outcomes

The Soul’s Legacy: a program designed to help prepare senior adults cope with end-of-life existential distress

The Soul’s Legacy: a program designed to help prepare senior adults cope with end-of-life existential distress

Current innovative psychological therapies have made great progress in addressing existential suffering in dying patients but are often begun too late in the end-of-life process and often ignore religion, which for many is a major component in the meaning-making process. Therefore, this article explores how chaplains (who are familiar with various religious traditions without promoting them) can help prepare senior adults effectively cope with inevitable end-of-life existential issues. The project described in this article provides tools for chaplains to address the real issues that terrify us all, but particularly the elderly: death, isolation, and meaninglessness. It is proposed that the addition of a spiritual will or legacy of the soul added to end-of-life planning can help ameliorate existential suffering at life’s end.