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Palliative care is more than you think

More Than You Think

Our colleagues at Palliative Care Australia recently convened the Oceanic Palliative Care Conference “The program featured over 215 speakers who pointed to powerful ideas, research, and models of care around the theme of ‘shaping stronger health systems, delivering quality palliative care. There are so many parallels between the theme of this conference and how we talk about integrated spiritual care. Just as palliative care is much more than clinical care at the final few days of life, spiritual care is much more than a narrow range of rituals or prayers. Not to say the latter isn’t vital for some, but as you know, it all depends on understanding the person and their important connections, ensuring that a person living with a life limiting illness has access to quality of life including nature, creative expression, contemplative practice, empower meaning making and resolving difficult relationships so that they can spend time with important connections and reducing unnecessary interventions.  

The role of palliative care in aged care has received deserved attention by the Royal Commission – it is sacred work to help people live as well as possible in their final years, months and weeks, and yet our aged care workforce and models of care are not in a position to give this work the attention it deserves. 

How can you improve and meet the spiritual and diverse multicultural needs of people receiving palliative care?   

We have a number of resources to assist you in grappling with integrated spiritual care for all staff and older people, in the context of palliative and end of life care. These materials embrace purposeful, connected and sensitive support for all. Have a look at our Considerations Series, the Spirituality of Dying Workshop, Dying with Loving Words and the Multifaith Practices Guide. National Guidelines Outcome Tool 3.9 is especially relevant for assisting older people to prepare for the end of their life. Then there is One Minute Moment When Someone Dies and Outcome Tool 5.10 that includes memorialisation. We have plenty on supporting staff and others around grief, and an outline of good communication processes in Outcome Tool 1.4

New learning module released by Spiritual Health Australia and Palliative Care Australia

Module topics

  • What is spiritual care? What is spirituality?
  • Listening, presence and empathy
  • The art of spiritual care.
  • Learning outcomes

A new learning program has been developed for healthcare professionals and suitable for aged care clinicians on understanding the role of spiritual care and palliative care called The Essence of Spiritual Care.

You can access the modules here: The Essence of Spiritual Care – Launch Learning Online (

By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • describe the principles of spiritual care in a healthcare context
  • demonstrate a capacity to use a variety of spiritual care interventions to support another.

If you would like in person or online bespoke learning programs for your aged care service, contact our team at Meaningful Ageing Australia to discuss training opportunities at or phone us on 1800 618 107.