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The ‘Qualities and Values’ and ‘Presence and Listening Skills’ modules from the Spirituality in Aged Care Professional Development program launch as e-modules on 25 February to equip aged care organisations with outcome focused, practical tools for integrating spiritual care for older people.

Ilsa Hampton, CEO of Meaningful Ageing Australia asserts everyone has the ability to integrate spiritual care at even the most basic level.

“Much of spiritual care in aged care is about instilling awareness and understanding there are similarities and differences in what individuals regard as important values. This can be through the value of the team member’s own work, or simply appreciating their own value by just being present when providing care.

“These new resources broaden our reach and enable staff in aged care to complete them when time permits, in pairs or alone, without committing to a complex training program. They highlight that spirituality is more about ‘being’ than ‘doing’.”

The e-module standalone units feature two key concepts of spiritual care in aged care, and what they may look like in a professional context. They focus on practical, engaging interactive tools including reflective questioning, listening exercises and short videos, both working alone or in pairs. Next steps and related resources are also covered.

Service providers are further supported via numerous connection points with the Aged Care Quality Standards, such as ‘Partner with consumers’ (Standard 2) and ‘Understand what is ‘right’ for each consumer’ (Standard 3).

The Spirituality in Aged Care Professional Development Program launched in August 2018 to help integrate spiritual care in aged care by embedding strategies into everyday staff practices, and by mentoring a person-centred care model to give staff confidence to support the spiritual needs of each resident.

“The predominant theme of spirituality is meaning and purpose in life, it is not an easy topic for many people, regardless of their experience or background, to understand or address. These practical resources provide leaders with the tools they need to help educate and support their staff to deliver relevant, appropriate basic spiritual care for individuals no matter their stage of life or background,” Ms Hampton said.

We’d like to thank the following member organisations for their trialling and feedback during the development of these e-modules: Catholic Homes WA, Churches of Christ QLD, Illawarra Diggers NSW, and OneCare TAS.

The modules were launched at the Meaningful Ageing North Sydney Region Meeting on 25 February in Baulkham Hills, following input from a range of members. You can access the e-module through our Member’s Zone here.