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Attention: Aged care, Religion & Seniors


Meaningful Ageing Tackles Barriers to the Implementation of Spiritual Care

A known barrier for the implementation of the recently launched National Guidelines for Spiritual

Care in Aged Care is that leadership staff do not understand and/or value spirituality and spiritual

care. Meaningful Ageing Australia is tackling this with a multi-pronged approach. The focus of the

strategy is to dismantle known barriers and build a pathway towards enabling the aged care

workforce to tune in to what is most important for older people, which in turn improves staff

engagement and stronger links with families. To achieve this, conversations about spirituality and

spiritual care, and follow-up support for implementation, need to occur at various levels and in

various times and places. Two elements of the strategy being launched next month include

education sessions with the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency assessors, and a new seminar

series, An Introduction to Spirituality for Leaders.

Meaningful Ageing CEO Ilsa Hampton commented that “the recently published National Guidelines

for Spiritual Care in Aged Care provide a remarkable strategic opportunity for aged care

organisations at a time when the “heart of quality” has been described by the aged care community

as “trusting, connected relationships, effective communication and an ongoing dialogue” (AACQA

Let’s Talk about Quality, 2015). Many leaders have not yet had the opportunity to consider for

themselves what spirituality and spiritual care is all about. Spirituality and spiritual care are not

included in the curriculum for most care qualifications, although related concepts such as knowing

yourself, your story and your values are found in leadership programs.”

“We are proud to be launching our new program in Wagga Wagga, the first regional seminar for

Meaningful Ageing. This new series will engage participants in a process of developing and

deepening understandings of spirituality and spiritual care, and the implications this has for their

leadership in an aged care organisation,” commented Hampton. Drawing upon current evidence

around spirituality, spiritual care and ageing, the session will align with the core values of the

National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care; empathy and compassion, acceptance and

respect, inclusion and diversity, and dignity. The seminar is inclusive of all and assumes no particular

belief system, which is important for people to feel comfortable with what may be a whole new area

of learning.

The first two seminars are supported by Meaningful Ageing Australia members BaptistCare

NSW/ACT (Wagga Wagga) and Calvary (Newcastle). Attendance is open to anyone open to learning


The Newcastle Seminar will also include the Meaningful Ageing Australia Quality Practice Award,

which recognises innovation and excellence in the pastoral and spiritual care of older people.

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“Including the awards with the Newcastle seminar provides a great opportunity for those at the

beginning of their spiritual care journey to see some concrete good news stories about what’s

possible,” commented CEO Ilsa Hampton. “Last year’s winning program from Churches of Christ

Qld, a specific approach to faith-based care for people living with dementia, is now in use by our

members across Australia. We’re looking forward to seeing what impact this year’s winner will have

in the sector.”

Wagga Wagga seminar registration: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/an-introduction-to-spiritualityfor-


Friday, 14 October 2016 from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM (AEDT)

Wagga Wagga Senior’s Community Centre

Newcastle seminar and awards registration: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/an-introduction-tospirituality-


Friday, 21 October 2016 from 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM (AEDT)

Calvary St Joseph’s Retirement Community 240 Maitland Rd, Sandgate, NSW 4017

Follow the Twitter conversation @MeaningfulAge

Media contact: Ilsa Hampton, Meaningful Ageing Australia ihampton@meaningfulage.org.au

Mobile 0425 758 277