THL446 Pastoral Care and Elderly People (8)


Building on the theoretical content covered in THL445 (Psychosocial and Spiritual Development in Older People), this subject examines strategies for quality of life and well being for older people. It further develops understandings of how older people may find meaning in later life, explores the needs of older people for pastoral and spiritual care, and addresses ways of working with older people across the health-illness continuum. The subject prepares students to work effectively and creatively with elderly people in a variety of settings, and it also explores the multicultural/multifaith dimensions of ageing and aged care.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 2
InternalCanberra Campus
DistanceCanberra Campus
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: THL446
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Theology

Enrolment restrictions

Graduate Certificate in Ageing and Pastoral Studies Graduate Diploma of Ageing and Pastoral Studies Master of Arts (Ageing and Pastoral Studies) Master of Ministry

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
- be able to articulate a biblical and historical context for pastoral care, incorporating the care of older people;
- be able to identify diverse cultural and faith backgrounds of older adults and creatively apply this knowledge to the context of spiritual and pastoral care;
- be able to demonstrate effective communication skills with elderly people;
- be able to recognise and articulate the religious and spiritual needs of older adults and the relationship of such needs to health and well-being;
- be able to assess the needs of older adults for pastoral and spiritual care;
- be able to articulate and apply effective models of pastoral and spiritual care when working with older people;
- be able to reflect critically on the pastoral and spiritual carer as practitioner in ageing and aged care;
- be able to articulate and critically evaluate the various paradigms of well-being and coping from religious and psychological perspectives; and
- be able to indentify appropriate spiritual resources and creatively apply them to engage the older person in the development of life-giving strategies across the health-illness continuum.


The subject will cover the following topics:
- religion and health in later life; - a biblical and historical context for pastoral care, incorporating care of older adults; - paradigms of well-being and coping from a relgious and psychological perspective; - the context of care within a diversity of cultural and faith backgrounds among older adults; - the pastoral care practitioner - reflective practice; - assessment of spiritual and pastoral needs; - models of spiritual and pastoral care in aged care; - worship and faith traditions in later life; - spiritual resources and strategies for later life: prayer, meditation, mysticism, spiritual reminiscence and autobiography; - relationships and isolation in ageing: the challenge of meeting the spiritual needs of older adults in the community; - sexuality and ageing; - risk assessment and the prevention of abuse for elderly people; and - accessing life enhancing resources within the community.


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.