Spirituality and ageing: implications for the care and support of older peopleJanuary 22 2013
This briefing paper published the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services explores why our ageing population requires person-centred care and developmental support in order to maximise its chances of ageing well.
Spiritual care is an essential component of person-centred care. It involves providing time, attention and listening to support individuals to find meaning and purpose in their lives.
Spirituality, although a contested concept, is evolving and developing and can be defined as a search for meaning with or without religious adherence.
It has been established that there are a range of activities and practices which can support these dimensions of spiritual care.
Key points from the report include:
- There is disagreement and discussion about the definition of spirituality
- Ageing is a journey which includes a spiritual dimension
- The spiritual dimension focuses on meaning of life, hope and purpose, explored through relationships with others, with the natural world and with the transcendent
- The evidence base suggests that genuine and intentional accompaniment of people on their ageing journey; giving time, presence and listening are the core of good spiritual practice
- Reminiscence, life story, creative activities and meaningful rituals all help the process of coming to terms with ageing and change