As part of National Palliative Care Week 2017, Meaningful Ageing Australia and Palliative Care Australia released a joint position statement about the importance of spiritual care in palliative and end of life care.
Palliative Care Australia and Meaningful Ageing Australia affirm that:
Spiritual care is an integral part of palliative care.
A palliative approach includes spiritual assessment, and the involvement of appropriately trained staff.
There are gaps in understanding about spirituality and spiritual care across the community, including amongst aged care staff and organisational leaders.
Further education and specific funding is needed, for spiritual care practitioners to function as part of the team in the palliative approach.
Religious and spiritual beliefs can affect decision-making about treatment, medicine and self-care as well as expectations of, and relationships, with health and aged care service providers.
Individualised spirituality-based interventions can lead to lower depression scores and reduced anxiety.
Cross-disciplinary palliative care is required to address psychosocial and spiritual needs at end-of-life in long-term care settings.
Palliative Care Australia and Meaningful Ageing Australia call for:
All aged care organisations to recognise the importance of spirituality and spiritual care for people, particularly those receiving end-of-life and palliative care, and respond appropriately to these needs.
Aged care funding models to include specialised spiritual care support.
Aged care workforce development to recognise spiritual need, particularly for those receiving end-of-life and palliative care, and improve capability to provide basic spiritual care.
Consistent spiritual screening and assessment of all people in aged care, particularly at the point of commencing end-of-life and palliative care.
Australian aged care standards to reflect the importance of meaning, purpose and connectedness for people receiving aged care, as described in the National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care.
Read the full statement here
Position Statement References:
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