Australian aged care services are being asked to comment on their understanding, support and use of the National Guidelines for Spiritual Care within the Australian aged care sector.

La Trobe University Researcher Amy Heath is surveying the guidelines, originally launched in 2016 by Meaningful Ageing Australia in partnership with the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) and Spiritual Health Victoria (SHV) enabling not for profit, government and private aged care providers to better incorporate spiritual care into their aged care services.

Meaningful Ageing hopes that this research encourages organisations to join in the conversation around quality of life, to understand spirituality in a collaborative and practical way, and to give Meaningful Ageing Australia information about the most needed tools and resources going forward. This information will be particularly helpful given the increased profile for spiritual care in the new Single Aged Care Quality Standards about to be released.

The online survey for a quantitative response will be supplemented by qualitative analysis from focus groups/interviews in all capital cities, and some regional focus as appropriate. It is hoped that at least 250 organisations are received.

The survey is short and should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete, including reading about the survey.Anyone from an organisation that provides aged care sector services can complete the survey.
Peak bodies ACSA, LASA and Catholic Health Australia have supported the development of the Guidelines and have recommended that their members participate in the study. The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency and Department of Health are supporting the project by sending out the survey.

Project Timeline:

• JUNE 2018: Publication of survey link
• JUNE-JULY: Collation of survey results
• JULY – NOVEMBER 2018: Focus groups/interviews with organisations in all capital cities and regional centres as appropriate
• SEPTEMBER 2018: Initial results presented at Meaningful Ageing National Member Representative Meeting
• DECEMBER 2019: Final publication of Report

Initial findings will be released as they occur, and a Meaningful Ageing monthly blog (already begun and on the website for members) will provide regular updates to the sector throughout this time frame.

The survey link is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NationalGuidelinesforSpiritualCareinAgedCareProject

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