THL563 Pastoral Care in Ageing: Family, Social and Cultural Contexts (16)


This subject prepares students for advanced professional practice with older people in family, social and cultural contexts. It addresses the types and significance of relationships for the well being of the older person. Selected contexts of ageing are explored including multifaith and multicultural ageing, singles, gays and lesbians, and indigenous persons. Contexts of care studied include family and non-family carers and the opportunities and difficulties that may arise. Appropriate professional spiritual and pastoral responses to stressful family and social issues such as isolation, abuse, and homelessness are also considered.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
Distance*Canberra Campus
*This subject offering contains a residential school. Please view following information for further details.
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: THL563
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 session HD/FLSchool of Theology

Enrolment restrictions

Master of Arts (Ageing and Pastoral Studies)
Related subject(s)
THL463 Previous version of this subject, now deleted

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate advanced knowledge of the types of relationships evident between older people, their families and community, including diverse sexual, indigenous, ethnic, and cultural perspectives;
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the particular spiritual and pastoral care needs for older people across a variety of cultures;
  • be able to demonstrate a high order of skill in the identification of pastoral care issues among single older people;
  • be able to demonstrate a high order of skill in the assessment of risk, neglect or abuse of older people, together with the possible stressful contexts of family and community, from a spiritual and pastoral care perspective; and
  • be able to demonstrate a high order of skill in the professional provision of appropriate pastoral care to older people and their families, relevant to their community, cultural and social needs.


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • Pastoral and spiritual perspectives on relationships in later life: negotiating changing relationships both personal and institutional;
  • Pastoral and spiritual perspectives on issues of social and spiritual isolation, with particular focus on the consequences of cultural dislocation where older people are no longer in their traditional communities;
  • Pastoral and spiritual perspectives on working with vulnerable older people;
  • Pastoral and spiritual perspectives on abuse and neglect of older people: definitions, assessment and interventions;
  • Faith communities and ageing people, strengthening connections with groups and within families;
  • Cultural contexts of ageing: multicultural and multifaith communities, singles, gays and lesbians, migrants and indigenous persons, particularly addressing appropriate and inappropriate care delivery to any of those groups.
  • Contexts of care: family and non-family carers, tensions and opportunities
  • Older people as carers
  • Pastoral care within stressful contexts in family and community: abuse, homelessness, and disability
  • Ritual, ethics and spirituality


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.