Spiritual inclusiveness at end-of-life for Punjabi Indians: Experience with regional residential aged care facilities

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Spirituality holds a significant place in the lives of several emerging minority groups in regional New South Wales (NSW). This study explores the significance of religion, faith, and spirituality at end-of-life for one of the emerging minority groups of the Punjabi Indians in regional NSW. It looks at the experiences of the older Punjabi Indians and their families with the regional residential aged care facilities (RACFs) at the end stage of their lives. From a care provider perspective, italso explores the experiences of and challenges faced by the care staff (nurses and personal care assistants) on spiritual facilitation in regional RACFs. By following a phenomenological approach to qualitative data, six (6) Punjabi Indian families from three towns of NSW (Wagga Wagga, Griffith, and Albury) and three (3) groups of care staff across three towns of NSW were interviewed. The qualitative thematic analysis showed limitations in religious resources to accommodate the spiritual needs of minority groups such as the Punjabi Indians. Furthermore, there were systemic and financial limitations experienced by the care staff at the regional RACFs. This study argues for the development of spiritual sensitive aged care in regional towns and towards that end it calls fora policy and practice response to the changing demographics of regional NSW
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event8th International Conference on Ageing and Spirituality - Old Parliament House , Canberra , Australia
Duration: 27 Oct 201930 Oct 2019
https://about.csu.edu.au/community/accc/ageing-spirituality (Conference website)
https://cdn.csu.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/3281579/20191016-Conference-Program-Final-4.pdf (conference program)


Conference8th International Conference on Ageing and Spirituality
Abbreviated titleChanging Cultures of Ageing and Spirituality
OtherThe Colloquium for Ageing Perspectives and Spirituality (previously the Centre for Ageing and Pastoral Studies) is excited about the forthcoming 20th anniversary of the Ageing and Spirituality conference with its return to Canberra in 2019. The inaugural spirituality and ageing conference was held in the National Capital in January 2000 and convened by Professor Elizabeth Mackinlay. Now in its 8th iteration, the national and international profile of the conference has grown significantly. It attracts people from across the globe who are at the forefront of ageing and spirituality; an area that has only recently begun to be recognised as vital to the well-being and care of older people.

The conference theme, ‘Changing Cultures of Ageing and Spirituality’, will address changing cultures (defined in their broadest sense) in the 21st century, specific issues of later life, working with older people and theological and ethical issues. International speakers have been invited from Singapore the USA, UK and NZ. We anticipate abstracts submissions from many different contexts which will broaden understanding of ‘changing cultures’. We have much to learn from one another.

The conference will be interesting for international delegates with Australia at the forefront of addressing contemporary issues on ageing. In particular the new Aged Care Quality Standards which take effect in July 2019 highlight meeting spiritual needs such as meaning, purpose, identity, beliefs, and wellbeing. These new standards are a departure from existing standards where the main focus was on inputs of physical well-being and care. These new standards will be highlighted in the conference.

As the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety proceeds in 2019 it is anticipated that this conference will help clarify, encourage and develop professional practice.
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