Insights: Spirituality and Aging: Implications for the Care and Support of Older People

The content of this blog has been reposted with permission from Laurie Blanchard at InfoLTC blog, at Ms. Blanchard is the librarian at the Misericordia Health Centre Library, University of Manitoba Health Sciences Libraries in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Prior to working at the Misericordia Health Centre, Laurie worked at the J.W. Crane Memorial Library, Deer Lodge Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba for 20 years.  She authors the InfoLTC blog for which she won a Manitoba Library Association's Innovation Award and the People’s Choice Award for Best Poster at the CHLA/ABSC 2009 Conference in Winnipeg. Ms. Blanchard is a former editor of the Bibliotheca Medica Canadiana (now the Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association (CHLA) , and currently serves on the board of the CHLA. Ms. Blanchard's views are solely her own and do not necessarily represent the views of Clinical Geriatrics or of HMP Communications, LLC.

From the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Science, the latest issue of Insights is dedicated to spirituality and its relation to aging and health care. 

Topics include: what is spirituality; spirituality as separate from religion; spiritual care in health and social policy; the research about spirituality, health and aging; and the practice of spiritual care for older people.

Key Points from the issue:

  • There is disagreement and discussion about the definition of spirituality.
  • Aging 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 aging journey and 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 aging and change.

To see the full report, please access it here.