As people reach their senior years, their emotional needs may change. This is particularly important for those living in aged care.
We recognise the emotional, physical and financial investment associated with joining a new community. We are committed to nurturing an environment where people feel emotionally and physically secure and supported.
We recognise and honour the depth of experience and meaning in the lives of all community members, and commit to being perceptive and supportive of their sensitivities, hopes and desires.
Aged care doesn’t just support residents in a physical sense; the emotional needs and spirituality of residents is also supported.
Michelle Morgan, from Meaningful Ageing Australia, recently shared an article with us about ConnecTo: A new spiritual screening tool for older people that was recently launched at Arcare Keysborough.
Here’s what she had to say about the benefits of the program:
Spirituality is about our sources of hope and strength, about meaning, purpose and connectedness with self, others, creativity, nature and something bigger. Despite its links and similarities with religion, it is not the same thing. Spirituality is bigger than religion; while everyone has a spirituality, not everyone has a religion. People don’t have to be ‘religious’ to think about the deeper things that matter to them, especially as they age or reach the end of their lives. Religion is an expression of spirituality.
By paying attention to our spirituality, we build resilience for what life throws at us. When our identity is challenged through losses – loss of a loved one, house, homeland or physical ability – we are able to access our sources of hope and the things that bring us meaning and a sense of purpose. We are not totally flattened. Spirituality creates and reinforces the sense that we are part of something bigger. We are not defined by that one key thing we have always ‘done’.
The ConnecTo spiritual screening tool was first developed by Dr Julie Fletcher as part of her PhD research. She identified a gap in the research relating to assessment tools, so she created a new tool that uses the language of connectedness. Meaningful Ageing Australia has since adapted and trialled this tool in aged-care residences, including Arcare Keysborough.
ConnecTo invites an older person to reflect on what’s most important to them. This helps members of their support team to quickly respond to identified gaps. In one instance, a ConnecTo conversation with a new client identified that music was deeply important to her. That afternoon, the client was supported to attend a musical performance in her new home.
Team members can use ConnecTo as a gentle starting point to understanding what is most important to the person in their care. It can inform them about what to focus on when they are engaging with the older person, and help them plan support that actually matches what is needed.
You can read the full article in our magazine here.