Human relationships are central to spirituality. We know you know this.
You know that older people in care might have experienced a loss of meaningful relationships due to death of love ones, geographic distance, lack of mobility or capacity to communicate, and social withdrawal.
For that reason, your relationship with older people, through your contact, can have increased importance. As can animals, places, events, certain dates and times, and objects.
We recommend the following 5 resources to support you in creating safe, respectful and supportive relationships with older people to provide spiritual care – in residential, community and at-home settings.
National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care
National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care is the definitive reference for spiritual care in aged care. Use this for information about best practices and also how to gain a deeper understanding of special needs and be more trauma-informed.
Tip: Watch and share with other staff these two short animations* that bring to life contemporary spiritual care and the domains of the National Guidelines
Multifaith Practices: Guidelines for Community and Residential Aged Care
Multifaith Practices: Guidelines for Community and Residential Aged Care provides a short but substantial overview of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism. Each chapter provides information for each religion of their beliefs and values; sacred texts; holy days and ritual observances; late life celebrations; caring practices during illness; end of life practices; and readings and prayers.
Tip: Use this beautiful book as a way to start a conversation about culture and faith with staff and colleagues as well as a guide for all to gain deeper understanding of what’s important to the older people they care for
’Frailty’ and Spiritual Care: a short guide
’Frailty’ and Spiritual Care: a short guide encourages your creativity and teamwork around responding to the spiritual needs of someone who no longer able to get ‘out and about’ in the way they used to. Using many familiar principles, this short guide encourages you to draw on your experience in engaging with older people about what matters most to them.
Tip: Use ’Frailty’ and Spiritual Care: a short guide to facilitate processes for care team members to extend their understanding and spark each other’s imagination.
Spiritual Care Considerations series
Spiritual Care Considerations series is a set of short 2-page documents that can help you navigate thoughts and questions about how to care for older people from a range of backgrounds and diverse identities. The short format means that only the most important information is collated here for care staff. Some of the topics include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Spirituality; Trans and Gender Diverse Older People; Intellectual Disability and Spirituality; and Supporting Each Other When a Resident/Client Dies.
Tip: Use these pages as a talking point in staff meetings and get them on noticeboards to encourage curiosity and awareness.
ConnecTo & Connect-Explore
ConnecTo and Connect-Explore are Meaningful Ageing Australia’s ‘flagship’ resources for exploring and supporting spirituality, and life reflection, with older people. They are both home grown validated models that are easily accessible as both discovery and referral tools.
Tip: Encourage a ‘you go first’ approach for your work with ConnecTo. Instead of another form of asking questions to get information, encourage staff to share their own experience of ConnecTo as an icebreaker.
Is your organisation a member of Meaningful Ageing Australia?
If so, don’t forget to log in through the member portal (and ensure staff know about this website and our newsletter too!)