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19 April 2021: Attention aged care, seniors, retirement living: For immediate release

Multifaith Practices: Guidelines for Community and Residential Aged Care

Over the years Australia has become increasingly diverse, with a wide range of different cultures, backgrounds and religions adding to our vibrant society.This diversity is increasingly being represented in the aged care system, both in terms of older people accessing aged care, but also in relation to the individuals who work in the sector.

Whole-person-centred care is also becoming more prominent, partly due to the Aged Care Quality Standards and the Royal Commission.

Within this increasingly diverse context, some awareness and understanding of different faith traditions can help both the organisations and their staff become more inclusive and focused on the individual in their care. To assist the workforce, Meaningful Ageing Australia has produced their latest resource, Multifaith Practices.

Launched on Friday afternoon last week in an online webinar, Multifaith Practices is an Australian edition of a Canadian publication called Multi-faith Practices: Guidelines for Caregivers. Published in 2014 by the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging, the Meaningful Ageing edition has revised and updated it for both Australian and aged care contexts. Input was given by key representatives for each religion. After the launch, Meaningful Ageing Australia was overwhelmed by interest in and positive comments about the resource; a testament to the gap it fills.

The guide provides easily accessible information about major faith groups specifically written for aged care. It covers six religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism. Each chapter provides an introductory overview for each religion of their:

  • Beliefs and values
  • Sacred texts
  • Holy days, holidays, and ritual observances
  • Late life celebrations
  • Caring practices during illness
  • End of life practices, which is especially important during end of life care
  • Readings and prayers

As Ilsa Hampton, CEO of Meaningful Ageing Australia, writes in her introduction to this guide, “If we are truly committed to helping people to live and die well this means understanding each person in a way that honours who they have been, who they are now and who they are becoming. Lists of statistics on their own will not help us with this, but it  older people they are supporting.”

The guide is an ideal and handy quick reference for any staff member who wants to begin their own awareness and knowledge of the different backgrounds from which their clients may come.

The guide is now available free to Meaningful Ageing members in either a printed or electronic copy. The guide will be available to buy for $20 by non-members in October 2021.

Content will be shared over the coming weeks on our social media channels, and you can view a video of the launch here.

Meaningful Ageing Australia is a registered charity.


Media details:

Meaningful Ageing Media contact:

Ilsa Hampton: ihampton@meaningfulage.org.au  0425 758 277