Brilliant work…As a non-faith based organisation we have felt included and extended our own understanding – and role in – ensuring that older Australians in our care are provided with opportunities to explore and express their spirituality. In whatever form that takes. Thank you.

Member survey

In Pursuit of Spiritual Wellbeing

In Pursuit of Spiritual Wellbeing

Almost ten years ago I wrote a short comment about spirituality for the journal Palliative Medicine.[1] Perhaps naively, I was trying to encourage a scientific approach to the exploration of, or perhaps promoting a scientific explanation for, the origins/source/nature...

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COVID-19 Announcement

High quality spiritual care is needed now more than ever, alongside the vital role of physical distancing and other clinical measures. We will keep supporting our members and others as you strengthen the inner resources of the older people you serve, and your teams; and will keep up our advocacy for holisitc support. We are very grateful for every single person who is continuing to work with older people in the midst of this global crisis.

We have created a selection of ideas for good spiritual care during the COVID-19 crisis which have been shared with us by some of our members. You can download our ‘Spiritual Care and COVID-19 Quick Guide’ here. You can also read our statement about Spiritual Care and COVID-19 by Ilsa Hampton, our CEO.

 

Kindness, compassion and respect

Meaningful Ageing Australia works to enable those who are supporting older people to be their best selves. We have a wide range of practical resources for organisations to activate on a small and large scale to develop and support capability in emotional support for older people. This includes building empathy, kindness, compassion and respect. All of these are fundamental to contemporary spiritual care.

 

Spirituality is more than religion

As the peak body for spiritual care and ageing, we know it can come as quite a surprise to many people to find out that spirituality is more than religion. Spirituality is integral to, but not confined by, religion and faith. It is about what gives us a purpose to our lives. It is about our sources of meaning and hope, which in turn is intimately related to our connectedness to ourselves, to others and to the world. We are not a faith-based organisation. We work with organisations who come from a wide range of world views and are united around a common goal of full quality of life for the older people they are serving.

 

Our main activities

We create resources for organisations with heart. We enable best practice pastoral and spiritual care for older people built on kindness, compassion and respect.

We deliver engaging education services.

We advocate with government and key agencies regarding the value of whole of person care for older people.

 

 

Impact

The impact of our work is seen in comments from our members:

“The National Guidelines have helped our organisation see that there are better ways of structuring our organisation to give greater meaning and purpose” in the lives of clients.

“Since beginning with Dementia Services, our staff are noticing a reduction in disruptive behaviours at meal times and less anxiety between residents.”

“Our staff are having talks about wanting to see people employed because of character, not technical skill. This has been a big change.”

 

 

Who are we?

We are a growing membership based not-for-profit, supporting organisations and groups to respond to the pastoral and spiritual needs of older people, their significant others, and their carers. We advocate for spiritual care to be included in all care settings. Membership is open to organisations and groups who provide support, care and/or accommodation to older people. We have begun with a focus on community and residential aged care. We work with a wide range of organisations: faith-based and not faith-based, private sector and charitable.

If you are someone who shares that vision, or is simply curious about how something like ‘spirituality’ can be an integral part of caring, then we would love to stay in touch.  Please take some time to learn about us on this site and join our mailing list.

Our website for seniors and their loved ones is seemeknowme.org.au.

 

What is Spirituality?

Spirituality is the way we seek and express meaning and purpose; the way we experience our connection to the moment, self, others, our world and the significant or sacred (adapted from Puchalski et al.).

There is now a large body of evidence showing that spiritual care is an essential part of holistic care for everyone, particularly older people including, importantly, those with dementia.

For more definitions please read our definitions document found here

 

Our Melbourne office is on the land of the Wurundjeri people.

We are registered with the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission.

 

 

Thank you for your outstanding work. Your resources have become a fundamental part of our work.

Member survey Nov 2017