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Aged care organisations that go above and beyond have once again been recognised, with seven finalists announced in the 2018 Meaningful Ageing Australia Awards. The Awards celebrate organisations who can demonstrate a sustained and effective program or project that is focused on high quality pastoral and spiritual care of older people.

Meaningful Ageing Australia CEO, Ilsa Hampton, said “These providers show what is possible when organisations use their imagination and effort to provide quality of life for each older person.” “Our awards drive improvements in aged care across Australia by setting benchmarks and providing practical advice about how to undertake similar work.” “Our last two winners led to the Intergenerational Reminiscence Program and Dementia Specific Christian Worship Service, both of which are now being used across Australia.”

The 2018 finalists include: Catholic Healthcare, RFBI, Blue Haven Care Home, Southern Cross Care Broken Hill, Ashfield Baptist Homes, Catholic Care of the Aged Port Macquarie and Villa Maria Catholic Homes. Some examples of their initiatives include:

  • spiritual reminiscence for people living with dementia
  • creating opportunities for isolated men to connect and reflect
  • developing ways for residents to ‘give back’ as part of their spiritual expression
  • helping families access meaningful spiritual care, beyond religious categories.

The finalists were chosen through a strict process of de-identification and judging by an independent panel coming from three states/territories. The judging panel includes a “consumer” representative, senior leaders from aged care and an academic. Ilsa Hampton commented, “The judges carefully assessed each application to ensure they can demonstrate the effectiveness and sustainability of their pastoral or spiritual care offering.  The quality of applications was again out-standing”.

Winners will be announced at the Awards celebration dinner to be held at Melbourne Town Hall following the Meaningful Ageing Member Representative Forum High Quality Spiritual Care in Aged Care: Evidence, excellence and access on 19 September 2018. The winner will be revealed by Nick Ryan, CEO Australian Aged Care Quality Agency and receives $1000 towards pastoral/spiritual care in their organisation. Meaningful Ageing is looking forward to creating another high quality publication based on the winning approach that allows others to replicate their work.

This year’s awards and the follow up publication are proudly sponsored by Prime Super. CEO Lachlan Baird commented, “Prime Super is delighted to be supporting the positive work of Meaningful Ageing Australia in celebrating and promoting full quality of life for all older Australians. The more we value older Australians the better we are as society.”