The Need for a Spiritual Revolution in Residential Care
November 17, 2017
Presented by Kristine Theurer, MA (Gerontology), PhD Candidate, University of British Columbia
How do we engage community in meeting spiritual needs? How do we continue to have meaningful friendships/relationships into old age, and what structures might support that, in our churches, in retirement communities and in long term care? The purpose of this seminar is to engage attendees in an interactive exploration of a new spiritual approach to psychosocial care within residential care (including long-term care homes, assisted living, and retirement homes).
Psychosocial care provided at these homes to address loneliness and depression is typically based on a long-standing tradition of ‘light’ social events, such as games and social gatherings, planned and implemented by staff. Although these activities provide enjoyment for some, loneliness and depression persists. Lack of resident input perpetuates the stereotype associated with residents as passive recipients of care. Those living with dementia face additional discrimination resulting in a range of unmet needs including powerlessness and lack of belonging—both of which are associated with interpersonal violence.
Research suggests that programs fostering engagement and peer support provide opportunities for residents to be socially productive and develop a valued spiritual social identity.
Attendees will be invited to engage in a fun and interactive review of these issues related to current recreational programming and mental health, as well as the theory and recent literature.
Participants will be guided through an interactive learning process and peer support group demonstration to explore how residents/volunteers/family/staff can engage in building community through fostering a culture of resident engagement and peer support.
Attendees will leave with practical take away strategies that they can immediately implement in their day-to-day work. These strategies have the potential to revolutionize current psychosocial practices from resident care to resident engagement.
Registration open September 11 to November 10, 2017
Register online or call 519-885-0220 x 24264
Registration Fee: $50 ($25 for students and seniors)
Personal cheque or credit card accepted.
Kristine Theurer has a Master of Arts in Gerontology and has pioneered the use of standardized peer support programming in residential senior living. She has received numerous research awards including the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, a doctoral grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the University of British Columbia’s Public Scholars Initiative. She presents regularly at conferences and leads trainings for staff working in health care across Canada and the US. She has published several peer-reviewed articles on peer support and is a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia. Kristine is founder of Java Group Programs Inc., an organization dedicated to the development and implementation of peer support programs in all areas of senior living, including dementia care. Current programs include Java Music Club, Java Memory Care and Java Mentorship programs, which have been implemented in over 600 nursing, retirement, assisted living and continuing care communities in Canada and the US. She guided Chartwell in implementing the Java Music Club as their signature spiritual program in over 180 retirement and long term care communities. Kristine also serves on the planning committee for the national conference on culture change in Canada.
The Spiritual Principles of Java Group Programs
The spiritual principles of Java Group Programs are woven into the fabric of these peer support groups and often come about naturally through participation in the program. By spiritual, we mean to include different kinds and degrees of spiritual principles, that is, a spirituality of each participant’s understanding. The principles include helping others (the core principle), love, acceptance and appreciation, understanding and compassion, and peace.
The Spirituality and Aging Program
Spirituality and Aging is a program area of the Research Institute for Aging. Its two-fold purpose is to promote and disseminate research in the field of spirituality and aging that will enhance the well-being of older adults; and to be a resource to students, community clergy, chaplains, and caregivers through university classes, public lectures, and workshops.