About Meaningful Ageing Australia
Meaningful Ageing Australia Ltd. is the Australian leader in education and resourcing of evidence-based spiritual care for the ageing population in the context of health, aged care and community services.
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 resources help bring person-centred care to life. We don’t use the label ‘person-centred’ with high frequency because it is a term that has, sadly, been emptied of meaning in a lot of contexts.
We are a registered charity and company limited by guarantee, supporting organisations and groups from all backgrounds to respond to the emotional and spiritual needs of older people, their significant others, and their carers. We provide information and education about the importance of including spiritual care in all care settings. Read more in the resources portal about our practical tools for members and others. We use evidence-informed actions to enable high quality spiritual care for all older people.
There is now a large body of emerging evidence showing that spiritual care is an essential part of holistic care for everyone, particularly older people including, importantly, those with dementia*.
The World Health Organisation views spirituality as inextricably linked to quality of life. Recent studies have demonstrated that spiritual health both predicted well-being and an older person’s ability to adjust to the challenges of ageing.
We know that there are many organisations which value and strive to provide high quality pastoral and spiritual care but are sometimes constrained from doing so by time and resource issues or lack of specialised skills.
We also know that there are many working in aged care who understand the value of spiritual care and want to have the conversations around spirituality, but tend to stay at a superficial level because they don’t feel they have the knowledge or skills to respond at a deeper level.
We support our members by providing the information and tools you need for high quality, integrated spiritual care.
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.). For more definitions please read our definitions document found here
Our reason for being
For every person to experience meaning, purpose and connectedness as they grow older.
To provide leadership and evidence-informed resources enabling meaning, purpose and connectedness in the lives of older people.
Through reflection, learning and growth we deepen our capacity to support the spiritual wellbeing of older people.
Through respectful collaboration we expand our influence so that older people will flourish.
Through being truly present with others, we honour the intrinsic value of every human being.
Through promotion of evidence-informed resources and practice we advance the spiritual care and wellbeing of older people in Australia.
Each year, our board reviews and updates our strategy to ensure we are responding to both our external and internal environments, as well as staying true to our purpose. Below are our key areas of focus.
Strategic Plan 2021 – June 2023
Approved at board meeting May 2021
Strategic focus areas:
- High quality products and services
- Engagement and profile
|Strategic Focus 2020 – June 2023|
|The right products & services||Sustainability||Impact|
We will develop spiritual care capability through our products and services and thereby have a positive impact on the spiritual wellbeing of older people in Australia.
We will maintain effective governance, leadership and sound financial control.
We will become more sustainable each year.
We will inform others, and champion, the importance of spiritual wellbeing for all people who are accessing services and support as they age.
Implement our engagement strategy so that aged care policy, legislation, funding and regulation advance the benefits of spiritual care.
We are a company limited by guarantee registered with the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission.
Our constitution can be viewed here.
Our ABN is 78 124 451 540.
Our ACN is 640873169.
We have a skills-based board who meet regularly throughout the year. Our board membership can be viewed here.
An annual general meeting of our members is held at least once in each calendar year and within five months after the end of each financial year of the company.
We are funded through membership fees and the sale of some products and services.
From time to time we receive project funding, such as the grant from the Australian government to complete the National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care and the contract to expand our See me. Know me. campaign.
Donations to Meaningful Ageing Australia are tax deductible.
We welcome sponsorship from organisations who want to support our mission. Go to our sponsors page for a list of current sponsors.
*See for example, Daly, L., & Fahey-McCarthy, E. (2014). Attending to the spiritual in dementia care nursing. British Journal of Nursing, 23(14), 787-791; Fenton, E., & Mitchell, T. (2002). Growing old with dignity: a concept analysis. Nursing Older People, 14(2), 19-21; Goh. A, Eagleton. T, Kelleher. R, Yastrubetskaya. O, Taylor. M, Chiu. E, . . .Lautenschlager. N. T. (2014). Pastoral care in old age psychiatry: Addressing the spiritual needs of inpatients in an acute aged mental health unit. Asia-Pacific Psychiatry, 6(2), 127-134; MacKinlay, E. (2012a). Care of Elderly People. In Cobb, M., Puchalski, C. & Rumbold, B. (Eds.), Oxford Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare. New York: Oxford University Press; MacKinlay, E. (2012b). Palliative Care, Ageing and Spirituality: A Guide for Older People, Carers and Families. London: Jessica Kingsley.
ABN 78 124 451 540
I find Meaningful Ageing Australia a great support.