May 8, 2018

Sources of health, salutogenesis and spirituality in aged care

An article by Richard Fleming in the Meaningful Ageing Australia newsletter, on salutogenesis and spirituality in aged care.

The authors of a recent review of the literature* noted that they could find no definition of spirituality in residential aged care.


While this may signify a lack of interest in spirituality in aged care in the past I believe that situation is changing for the better as there is a marked increase in interest in the concept of wellbeing in aged care. It is beginning to be reflected in accreditation standards.

The increasing focus on wellbeing may provide richer ground in which the consideration of spirituality may take root. The organisation I represent, Dementia Training Australia, delivers Commonwealth funded training across Australia. Our approach is based on the ideas of salutogenesis (sources of health).

These focus attention on the provision of meaningful, compehensible and manageable psycho-social and physical environments for people living with dementia. Salutogenesis  is very broad in its scope, able to accommodate a wide range of approaches to the provision of care that supports well-being and its emphasis on meaningfulness encourages consideration of the spiritual aspects of care.

*David Jackson, Colleen Doyle, Hannah Capon & Elizabeth Pringle (2016): Spirituality, spiritual need, and spiritual care in aged care: What the literature says, Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging

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