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.
From our CEO: Hang in there. I don't want to keep talking about COVID-19 but how can I not? Sometimes when we are faced with a major upheaval in life, we manage by focusing on "getting through it" until we come out the other side. Perhaps we put on our armour and...
Louise was in shock when her 83-year-old mother was rushed to the hospital with a dangerously low pulse. She was terrified when the ambulance officer suddenly turned to her saying, “Well, if [your mother] has an event in the ambulance, what do you want us to do? Do...
On this page you will find information and resources that we publish in response to the COVID-19 situation. The information is focussed specifically on the impact of the pandemic on the implementation of high quality spiritual care in aged care. We have a new COVID-19...
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 holistic 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 find these on our new information blog, including our new information on Wearing Masks with Heart.
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 emotional support and 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 evidence-informed resources for organisations with heart. We enable high quality emotional, social and spiritual support 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.
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.