Meaningful Ageing Australia is running a series of professional development workshops in spiritual care around regional Australia for aged care staff and volunteers.

The workshops will run from February to June 2018 in 17 regional centres, thanks to a partnership with Prime Super.

Hosted by local members of Meaningful Ageing, participants will choose from a range of spirituality topics based on local needs. The seminars are open to all other aged care services and volunteers as well as community members who may be interested in the sessions.

Meaningful Ageing CEO Ilsa Hampton said that regional Australia offers some of the best aged care in Australia, where “relationships can be more readily kept at the heart of what they offer.”

“Due to the tyranny of distance, regional Australia sometimes misses out on the best education available in metropolitan areas, so there is definitely a need for this education in regional Australia,” she said.

“The beauty and challenge of contemporary spiritual care gives staff the opportunity to engage with what it means to integrate spiritual care from within their own situation, personally as well as professionally.

“In addition, our upcoming review of the National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care will be informed in part by conversations at these seminars.”

“Many of our members are excited about the opportunity to host a session for their staff, volunteers and community. We are delighted to partner with Prime Super to make this possible.”

Topics on offer include:

  • Introduction to spirituality and contemporary spiritual care in aged care
  • Acknowledging diversity (ours and others’)
  • Spiritual conversations
  • Supporting older people in the transition to aged care
  • Death, Dying and Hope – conversations about end of life
  • Responding to loss and grief
  • Family or Resident Conversations

A seminar in Understanding Islam and Muslim spirituality to assist care providers to understand the care needs of clients and their families and respond in a culturally appropriate and respectful manner is also available for providers.

Depending on which seminars are requested by each local , the educators include:

Jenika Graze, an experienced Melbourne-based palliative care nurse with numerous roles in the residential and community aged care sector.

Kim Thoday a residential care spiritual care practitioner working with Eldercare (South Australia) since 2010, and as a spiritual care supervisor, including for people living with dementia in SA and Victoria.

Mahjabeen Ahmad the Muslim Educator who co-authored the first report on Muslim aged care in South Australia–Muslims in Australia and their Aged Care Needs: An Exploratory Study with Reference to South Australia included in the Review of Australian Research on Older People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds, and an updated guide for appropriate care for Muslims available on the Meaningful Ageing website.

Ilsa Hampton CEO of Meaningful Ageing Australia since March 2016. Ms Hampton previously worked for eight years at Baptcare (Victoria & Tasmania) and has held various sector positions including Chair of the multi-faith Diploma of Pastoral Care and Ageing Committee, and Chair of Spiritual Health Victoria’s Aged Care Advisory Group.

Confirmed Events

Location Date Meaningful Ageing Member Host
Albany, WA 27-Feb Hall and Prior
Busselton, WA 1-Mar Baptistcare WA
Darwin, NT 7-Mar Southern Cross Care SA/NT
Katherine, NT 8-Mar Roper Gulf Regional Council
Townsville, Qld 21-Mar TBA
Cairns, QLD 23-Mar Blue Care (UnitingCare Qld)
Port Macquarie, NSW 11-Apr Catholic Care of the Aged
Gosford, NSW 12-Apr Presbyterian Aged Care
Shellharbour, NSW 1-May Warrigal
Griffith, ACT 3-May BaptistCare NSW/ACT
Lismore, NSW 16-May Uniting
Tamworth, NSW 17-May RFBI
Bendigo, Vic 29-May TBA
Launceston TAS 5-Jun TBA
Tanunda, SA 7-Jun TBA
Limestone Coast, SA 19-Jun TBA
Rockhampton, Qld 21-Jun TBA

For updates about venues, local hosts and additional dates please visit https://meaningfulageing.org.au/meaningful-ageing-series/