Spirituality and ageing: implications for the care and support of older people

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.

Download Spirituality and ageing: implications for the care and support of older people

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

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