EOFY sale on now! Apply Coupon: EOFY2021 at checkout and receive 30% off!

Implementation tool focussing on Dignity of Risk launches to address aged care spiritual needs.

An expert guide supporting renewed focus to better meet older people’s spiritual needs around dignity of risk launches this week via a sixty-minute webinar with author and aged care expert consultant Elizabeth Pringle.

Dignity of risk relating to spirituality allows a person to carry out their express wishes regarding aspects of life that bring them meaning, purpose, connectedness, identity, and hope. These choices are despite potential negative consequences or risk of physical harm to self.

The focus of the guide is to shift organisational thinking by service providers from having sole decision-making responsibility on behalf of older people, to taking a more balanced approach to managing risk by better understanding older people’s spiritual needs.

Ms Pringle asserts that the Aged Care Quality Standards highlight the need for older people to make their own risk-taking decisions.

‘Whenever a person is restricted from engaging in activities that facilitate their spirituality, it can affect their wellbeing and quality of life. For example, a nature loving older person who is denied outside access due to perceived misadventure such as sunburn or a fall,’ she says.

The dignity of risk guide is part of the Implementation Tools series and specifically addresses outcome 1.3 of the Aged Care Quality Standards. The guide also aligns with ACQS number 4 to provide better understanding and ways to change restrictive practices that impact risk and spirituality.

Ilsa Hampton, CEO of Meaningful Ageing Australia, stresses that whilst aged care service providers have certain health and safety obligations, they need to take a balanced approach to managing risk and respecting older people’s rights.

‘Most available literature relating to dignity of risk does not focus specifically on spiritual needs. By restricting a person’s right to make decisions involving risk, their spiritual dimension can be directly affected.’

The guide offers service providers a step-by-step approach to help facilitate older people’s spirituality through choice whilst undertaking risk management procedures. If an older person makes a choice that is possibly harmful to them, the organisation is expected to help that person understand the risk and how it could be managed.

The special focus dignity of risk guide will launch via a sixty-minute webinar, this Friday at 1.00pm (AEST), presented by Elizabeth Pringle available to Meaningful Ageing members and guests upon registration.

Meaningful Ageing Australia is a registered charity.

Media details:
Meaningful Ageing Media contact:
Ilsa Hampton: ihampton@meaningfulage.org.au  0425 758 277

Cover art and photos available from admin@meaningfulage.org.au

Additional information

About Meaningful Ageing Australia
Meaningful Ageing is the not-for-profit peak body for spiritual care and ageing, supporting organisations and groups to respond to pastoral and spiritual needs of older people, their significant others, and their carers.

Meaningful Ageing works with organisations united around a common goal of full quality of life for the older people they are serving.

Meaningful Ageing creates high quality, practical resources and deliver engaging education services enabling best practice pastoral and spiritual care for older people.

Meaningful Ageing advocates with government and key agencies regarding the value of spiritual care for older people in all care settings.

About Spirituality
“Spirituality is the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred.”
(Puchalski, Vitillo, Hull, & Reller, 2014)

About Elizabeth Pringle, Dignity of Risk Guide Author
Elizabeth Pringle has over 20 years management experience in the areas of executive management, [EMP] ageing and spirituality, learning and development and quality management in aged and community services.

About Ilsa Hampton, Meaningful Ageing Australia CEO
Ilsa has extensive experience in strategic integration of spiritual care in aged care, including sector positions such as Chair of the multi-faith Diploma of Pastoral Care and Ageing Committee, and Chair of Spiritual Health Victoria’s Aged Care Advisory Group.

Sample Evidence Based References
All full references available at https://meaningfulageing.org.au/other-resources/

  • Self-reported spirituality was the strongest predictor of Adjustment to Ageing (AtA) (von Humbolt et al 2014),
  • Spiritual support (both religious and nonreligious) is a vital factor in well-being and quality of life at end of life (Nichols 2013),
  • Spiritual beliefs can affect the strategies people use to cope with illness (George, Koenig & McCullough, 2000; Williams & Sternthal, 2007),