Providing spiritual care is about tapping into the concept of spirituality: core meaning, deepest life meaning, hope and connectedness.
The search for meaning, connectedness and hope becomes more significant as older people are faced with the possibilities of frailty, disability and dementia.
Spirituality, ageing and meaning in life can be discussed in the context of an alternative view of “successful ageing”.
A model of spiritual tasks in older age can help explain the spiritual dimension and provide a starting point for spiritual assessment.
- 1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australia’s health 2004. Canberra: AIHW, 2004. (AIHW Cat. No. AUS 44.)
- 2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Older Australians at a glance 2002. 3rd ed. Canberra: AIHW and Australian Department of Health and Ageing, 2002. (AIHW Cat. No. AGE 25.)
- 3. Australian Government Treasury. Intergenerational report 2002–03. 2002–03 Budget Paper No. 5. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, 2002. http://www.budget.gov.au/2002-03/bp5/html/index.html (accessed Mar 2007).
- 4. Rowe J, Kahn R. Successful aging. New York: Random House, 1999.
- 5. Braxton D, Swindell R, MacKinlay E. A voice worth listening to: a U3A Online at Griffith Successful Ageing Study. Queensland: Griffith University Desktop Publishing, 2005.
- 6. MacKinlay EB. Spiritual growth and care in the fourth age of life. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2006.
- 7. Young C, Koopsen C. Spirituality, health and healing. Thorofare, New Jersey: Slack Inc, 2005.
- 8. MacKinlay EB. The spiritual dimension of ageing. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2001.
- 9. Koenig HG, Lawson DM. Faith in the future: healthcare, aging, and the role of religion. Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press, 2004.
- 10. Bellamy J, Black A, Castle K, et al. Why people don’t go to church. Adelaide: Openbook, 2002.
- 11. Hughes P, Black A. Managing the diversity of implicit religions in Australian society. In: Bouma G, editor. Managing religious diversity: from threat to promise. Sydney: Australian Association for the Study of Religions, 1999.
- 12. Neugarten B. Adult personality: toward a psychology of the life cycle. In: Neugarten B, editor. Middle age and aging: a reader in social psychology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968.
- 13. Erikson EH, Erikson JM, Kivnick HQ. Vital involvement in old age. New York: WW Norton and Co, 1986.
- 14. MacKinlay EB. The spiritual dimension of caring: applying a model for spiritual tasks of ageing. J Relig Gerontol 2001; 12: 151-166.
- 15. MacKinlay E, editor. Spirituality of later life: on humor and despair. New York: Haworth Pastoral Press, 2004: 43-58.
- 16. Coleman PG. Creating a life story: the task of reconciliation. Gerontologist 1999; 39: 133-139.
- 17. Levers M-J, Estabrooks CA, Kerr Ross JC. Factors contributing to frailty: literature review. J Adv Nurs 2006; 56: 282-291.
- 18. Haight BK, Webster JD, editors. The art and science of reminiscing. Washington: Taylor and Francis, 1995.
- 19. Gibson F. The past in the present: using reminiscence in health and social care. Baltimore, Md: Health Professions Press Ltd, 2004.
- 20. Haight BK, Gibson F. Burnside’s working with older adults: group processes and techniques. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett, 2005.
- 21. Randall W, Kenyon G. Reminiscence as reading our lives: toward a wisdom environment. In: Webster J, Haight B, editors. Critical advances in reminiscence work. New York: Springer, 2002.
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.