The National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care provides a definition of spirituality that resonates strongly with Belvedere’s philosophy and core values.

 

Spirituality is universal, deeply personal and individual. It goes beyond formal notions of ritual or religious practice to encompass the unique capacity of each individual. It is at the core and essence of who we are, that spark which permeates the entire fabric of the person and demands that we are all worthy of dignity and respect. It transcends intellectual capability, elevating the status of all of humanity to that of the sacred.

 

At Belvedere, we recognize values that foster the individual interests, customs and beliefs of our residents. We acknowledge that cultural and spiritual needs vary from person to person and these always remain a personal and integral part of quality of life. As care givers, it is our responsibility to identify the spiritual needs of our residents and ensure the offering of spiritual care is respectfully undertaken and appropriate.

 

Spirituality is embedded into Belvedere’s philosophical structure, our processes and strategies. Our residents and staff reflect the multicultural society in which we live. Belvedere’s leadership team, including me as Director of Nursing, ensures staff across all layers of our organization are recruited according to their strong demonstrations of empathy, genuine care and warmth – individual qualities that highlight their capacity to connect appropriately with our residents, each of whom have special, differing spiritual needs. Great importance is placed on welcoming our residents and their family to Belvedere. Upon admission, the immediate establishment of communication with our new resident and their families allows us to develop and maintain a mutual respect and trust that fosters genuine relationships. This involves staff at all levels – management, senior staff, care staff, allied heath professionals, catering and facilities staff. Consistency of staff in these areas promotes connectedness and we have seen first-hand the reassurance this brings to residents and their families.

 

In recognizing our resident’s spiritual choices we preserve their individual worth through a holistic care plan that incorporates individualised lifestyle programs. Each lifestyle program is constantly reviewed and evaluated to encourage and support residents to achieve everyday meaning, hope, purpose and connectedness as they experience change, grief and loss. We extend our pastoral care to resident families and loved ones with our offering of spouse and family support groups. This group encourages a sense of community for families facing challenging and emotional times.

 

The offering of space, both private and communal is integral in enabling spiritual expression. Belvedere offers 3 gardens for our residents and their families as a place for meditation, celebration and contemplation. Our visitor-friendly environment welcomes community members, volunteers and all faith groups to be celebrated.

 

Please contact me for further information about Belvedere’s approach to spirituality and alignment with the National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care.

-Carmel Drobnik

Director of Nursing