The following should be read in the context of the full National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care, downloadable here.
Ethical context of spiritual care
Spiritual care is provided within an ethical framework that is reflected in organisational policies, procedures, processes and practice.
Outcomes and actions
4.1 Spiritual care for older people with special needs takes into account their personal situation and how this may impact their experience of care.
4.2 Spiritual care recognises and respects the older person’s choices and preferences in the context of holistic care. It is integrated with the physical, psychological, social and cultural dimensions of the whole person and their carers and family/loved ones.
4.3 Those who have contact with older people work within their scope of competency and are aware of the referral process and role of spiritual care specialists.
4.4 Spiritual care is provided within a culture of acceptance, tolerance and inclusivity. Spiritual views, beliefs, culture, values and affiliations are respected. The individual’s right to self- determination regarding spirituality and spiritual care is upheld.
4.5 Provision of spiritual support resources is adequate to meet the identified spiritual needs of older people.
4.6 Spiritual practices such as prayer, healing rites, rituals or religious sacraments are respectfully offered within the context of choice, preferences and assessed needs.
4.7 Spiritual assessments and relevant personal information are made available to those who have contact with older people commensurate with their role and responsibility,and the older person’s consent and preferences.
4.8 Spiritual care practitioners have access to care information and are required to notate relevant information that enhances holistic care.
4.9 Older people who express a desire to explore alternative faith/beliefs and/or change their view of faith/beliefs/values are provided with information and access to faith representatives. Family and loved ones are supported to understand and respect the older person’s choices.
4.10 Spiritual care complies with all relevant legal requirements and codes of conduct/codes of practice.
Enabling spiritual expression
A range of individualised activities and interventions are available to encourage the finding of meaning, purpose, connectedness, hope, and to transcend loss and disability. These options, activities and interventions occur in the context of deep and abiding relationships.
Outcomes and actions
5.1 Individual and group activities promote spiritual growth and attainment of spiritual maturity, for example: spiritual reminiscence groups, life history and life review.
5.2 Older people have access to the natural environment through gardens, outings and/or bringing nature inside through flowers, plants, photos, sounds and fragrances.
5.3 Older people are supported and encouraged to connect with their loved ones and/or religious/ community/cultural group by participating in person, visitation and/or via technology (video call, podcasts, virtual reality etc).
5.4 Older people have access to spiritual care practitioners to share their spiritual journey.
5.5 Sacred, cultural, religious and other special days, festivals, periods of religious observance and celebrations, are acknowledged and observed on an individual or group basis.
5.6 Cultural and spiritual needs and preferences in relation to food, eating and fasting rituals are identified, documented, supported and observed.
5.7 Older people are supported to participate in the arts such as music, singing, dancing, drawing, painting, poetry and story-telling.
5.8 Participation and observation of rituals, worship, rites, sacraments, devotions, prayer, recitation of creeds, meditation, chants, self-affirmations and mantras are supported and facilitated to promote spiritual growth and resilience.
5.9 The organisation facilitates older people having access to sacred texts, daily readings, biographies, poetry, other texts and or study/discussion groups that promote spiritual growth and resilience.
5.10 Loss and grief in relation to death and dying of loved ones and/or other residents/clients is acknowledged. The life of the deceased is celebrated in some form such as a commemoration service, book or photos.