The space between: how to establish service of hope

The Space Between: Implementing spiritual care in community aged care, assists community aged care providers to introduce a spiritual care program into their services.

The Space Between is based on the program that Catholic Healthcare has been running for the last ten years. In the words of Sam, one client who has accessed this specialised spiritual support, ‘It helps me to believe in myself and to be in touch with a healthy part of myself, and not be so negative…and to give me hope every day on this journey because it is hard. And it is easy to lose hope. So it brings light in to the dark places in your life.’

The resource is named ‘The Space Between’ because of the very many ways in which spiritual carers are attentive to the spaces of significance in the lives of community aged care clients. These may be changing spaces, due to health or other challenges; they could be spaces from the past that need to be called forward; they may be spaces of the future and finding the courage to face unwanted changes. By paying particular attention to each of these spaces, by exploring the spiritual resources of each client on their own terms, consolation, reconciliation and even peace may be found.

The handbook includes practical advice and examples including funding models, surveys for potential clients, referral processes, considerations of how to name the service offering, and templates for evaluation. It includes input from other service providers with experience in this critical area of work such as Baptcare, Churches of Christ in Queensland and BlueCare.