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Spirituality and the draft Aged Care Act

As we expected, there is a lot of examination and discussion and of the new Aged Care Act. One overarching point that is pleasing to see is the prominent inclusion of cultural diversity and spirituality in both the Act and the revised ACQS. It is particularly noteworthy that the as part of the definition of high quality care, First Nations will have a definition that is consistent across the ATSI representative groups.

However, despite the references to cultural diversity and spirituality, there is no funding to support the provision of related service and care under AN-ACC or 200 minutes of care. This is an area you can expect us to advocate for.

It’s really important we ensure the case for Spiritual Care is truly heard – so make a formal submission, stay apprised via the Dept’s engagement hub for info on how to make your voice heard, including venues for in-person consultation meetings, and email the Dept with your feedback.

  • That diversity includes cultural diversity, spiritual diversity and the concepts of identity and individual preferences and neurological differences
  • That if we are to place importance on individuals’ cultural diversity and spirituality (which does not necessarily include faith and religion), then this must also be reflected explicitly through AN-ACC and in funding for spiritual care in the 200 minutes of care
  • That spiritual care, and spirituality, does not rely on faith or religion but rather how we can support older people to have purpose in their lives, to help them reflect and create connections (with themselves, others, nature, creativity, something bigger) and to foster peace of mind.
  • That it would be very helpful for providers to have the National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care (published by Meaningful Ageing Australia, 2016) referenced as supporting materials in both the Act and the ACQS.

You can look forward to our special Community of Practice meeting in April, which will look at how the National Guidelines and the revised ACQS relate to each other. This Community of Practice is a member-only benefit for leaders and professional spiritual care practitioners.

Register to attend the 24th of April CoP here: National Community of Practice: Topic integrating spiritual care & the revised ACQS – Meaningful Ageing Australia

Department of Health and Aged Care

  • Survey – closes 7.00pm AEDT on Friday 16 February 2024.  Click here to complete. Please note a survey phone line will also be available shortly
  • Workshops and drop-in sessions – commencing 19 January to 14 February 2024. Click here for locations and to register
  • Written submissions – send no later than 7.00pm AEDT on Friday 8th March 2024. Click here for more information