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Rights-based aged care & spiritual care

Ilsa Hampton, CEO

Here at Meaningful Ageing Australia we are continuing to think about rights-based aged care and its relationship to spiritual care. Last week, we were one of 25 peak bodies who backed OPAN’s call for the new Aged Care Act to be rights-based.

The reason we need rights-based approaches is to ensure that each person’s rights are embedded in practice, rather than being a framed statement on the wall that does not make any real difference to people’s lives.

In 1991, the United Nations Human Rights Office of High Commissioner articulated Principles for Older Persons that governments should include in national initiatives wherever possible:

  • Independence
  • Participation
  • Care, including “14. Older persons should be able to enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms when residing in any shelter, care, or treatment facility, including full respect for their dignity, beliefs, needs and privacy and the right to make decision about their care and the quality of their lives”
  • Self-fulfilment, including 15. Older persons should be able to pursue opportunities for the full development of their potential and 16. Older persons should have access to the educational, cultural, spiritual and recreational resources of society” and
  • Dignity.

Spirituality and spiritual care clearly has a role to play in realising the rights of older persons, in particular in relation to participation and self-fulfilment.

Read the full piece in our newsletter



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Read our November newsletter here