This Masters Project by Dr Elizabeth Giles at the University of Tasmania reviews literature exploring factors that assist frail and ageing older people to transcend their losses, and to experience increased life satisfaction, well-being and peace of mind as they near the end of life. The review identified five distinct themes:

  • A need for individual spiritual care (rather than group interventions)
  • That staff attitude and the manner of their interactions with residents determines the quality of spiritual care
  • That staff need time to provide quality interactions
  • That staff need specific training to provide spiritual care to older people
  • That older people need meaningful social interactions to support gerotranscendence.

The review recommends that healthcare professionals be educated in the principles of gerotranscendence, provided with professional development in spiritual care, and that there is improved funding and staffing levels to ensure holistic care for older people living in residential aged care facilities.

Access the full thesis here