the spiritual needs of older people and staff who work with them
Keywords:gerontology, chaplaincy, spiritual care, older people, healthcare staff
Two recently completed studies form the basis of this article. These studies focussed on those who work with older people and older people themselves in terms of their spiritual needs and the implications of this for healthcare chaplaincy. Using the concept of successful ageing the article suggests a link between spiritual support with successful ageing and considers empirical data from residents and staff in the light of this. Staff were able to identify spiritual practices that helped them achieve balance between the demands of work and their own needs. Both groups talked about the importance of relationships with colleagues, family and friends and between staff and patients or residents. The article suggests that healthcare chaplains have an opportunity to develop particular support interventions based on researched need, for both older people and staff who work with older people and raises the question of the case for gerontological chaplaincy.
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