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Ageing, Spirituality and the Nursing Role




Gerontological nursing is a complex specialty practice area within nursing. It is at this final stage of the life cycle that really holistic nursing care should be practised. Nurses working in this specialty need a sound basic understanding of the spiritual dimension and ageing in our society to be able to deliver effective nursing care to older adults.


Contents include

  • Living in an ageing society
  • Health issues and ageing
  • The spiritual dimension in ageing
  • Spiritual development across the life span
  • Stages of physical development
  • Links between the psychosocial and the spiritual in ageing
  • The Spiritual journey in ageing
  • The significance of reminiscence: a developmental task of ageing
  • The nursing role in spirituality and ageing
  • Changes in nursing practice
  • Spiritual care is different from psychosocial care
  • Spiritual needs assessment
  • Spiritual needs of frail older adults
  • Assisting older adults to continue their spiritual journey
    • Reminiscence/life review
    • Identifying and dealing with social and spiritual isolation
    • Meeting the spiritual needs of people who have dementia
  • Conclusion: pastoral care, spiritual care and ageing
  • References
  • Other reading
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Author / Editor Biographies

RN, RM, Dip (Nursing Education), BA, BTh, Med and FRCNA.
Reverend Elizabeth MacKinlay, a priest in the Anglican Church of Australia, combines her nurse and priest roles by being a senior lecturer in nursing and a chaplain at the University of Canberra. She is also involved in ministry in a rural parish at weekends. She is married with two adult children. Over the past fifteen years or so, Elizabeth has developed a special interest in gerontological nursing - assessing the need for education in gerontological nursing, designing and teaching programs and conducting research in the area. More recently she has designed and taught a unit of study in past...

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