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Ross Low, Chairman, PASCOP and CEO, BaptistCare

Why did you nominate for PASCOP Board?
The overall concept of pastoral and spiritual care and how it is handled and delivered within aged care environments, be that residential, home services or retirement living, is something that I personally and our organisation, BaptistCare, values. To be able to be involved in setting up and then seeing other organisations using our programs to the benefits of their people is something that challenged me and hence the next logical progression was to go onto the board.

What is the Board’s vision for PASCOP?
The Board sees PASCOP becoming the ultimate conveyor of top quality pastoral and spiritual care programs that will be used to significantly improve the wellbeing of people within the aged care environment.

And for the spiritual and pastoral care profession?
PASCOP provides them with positive, well-researched programs as a perfect conduit to work far more effectively and specifically in the industry.

What are the three main issues facing older people in Australia regarding spiritual and pastoral care?

Quality of life and the fact that organisations like World Health are now seeing spirituality as being inextricably and positively linked with it.

Spirituality is being seen as something that gives people a purpose to their lives and how they can experience a connection to themselves, to others and to their world.

Dementia and how pastoral and spiritual care plays an essential part of people’s holistic care.

How is PASCOP planning to address these?

In the first instance, strong research allowed PASCOP to affirm that pastoral and spiritual care is a way to address these three points so that we can develop various programs to be used in response to them.

How important is spiritual and pastoral care to and for older people?

It is extremely important as demonstrated initially by research and then by practical developed programs that, since being implemented, are confirming the expectations.

What is PASCOP’s role in spiritual and pastoral care?
Initially it is to raise the profile through advocacy, conferences, meetings and gatherings and now through the development, disbursement and use of the programs.

PASCOP is a young organisation, what do you think have been its main achievements since it was founded?
Carving out a niche in a competitive aged care market that is now seen in the very positive light of being able to provide and will further provide well-researched pastoral and spiritual care material and programs.

PASCOP is now seen as a credible organisation.

What do you do at BaptistCare?
I am the CEO and have been since September 2010.

How does Baptistcare embrace its pastoral and spiritual care program across its sites and within its services?
Very seriously. We are fortunate enough to have over 40 chaplains and now a growing number of volunteer chaplains who work with our people to provide them with strong pastoral and spiritual care.

If you were to summarise the role that PASCOP can play in three words, what would they be?
Provider of purpose.