Spiritual care is recognised as an increasingly important aspect of the care of people living with dementia. There is a growing awareness among both families and professionals that spiritual care is an essential component of holistic, person-centre care.

The survey for care home managers is now open. Go to https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XYJQ2CP

Spiritual care

Spiritual Care involves developing a genuine relationship between individuals. Within this there is an acknowledgement that the clinical picture of dementia is not all that can and should be known, and that human lives are mysterious. There is more to living well than simply caring for our bodily needs. Spiritual care acknowledges the presence and importance of such things as joy, hope, meaning and purpose, as well as the reality of disease, suffering, disappointment and death.

This means that spiritual care is much broader than any one faith or religion, and is of relevance to everyone.

New research

Research, commissioned by the Life Changes Trust, is now being undertaken by a consortium of four organisations (Faith in Older People, Aberdeen University, Mowat Research, and Simon Jaquet Consultancy Services Ltd) into spiritual care in care homes in Scotland. The research aims to identify the range of approaches to spiritual care practice in care homes with people living with dementia, and to explore how to best build on this in the future. It will, above all, be a positive exercise - looking for examples (large and small) of the practical ways in which spiritual care is carried out in care homes.

Getting involved

The online survey (at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XYJQ2CP)  is being sent to all of Scotland's 900 care homes. It is hoped that care home managers will be able to spare the time to complete the survey (which will be brief).

The survey is supported by a number of national bodies:

"Scottish Care warmly commends this work and encourages you to participate by completing the short questionnaire.  Spiritual care lies at the heart of all good care home support." (Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive, Scottish Care)

"The Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Social Services Council support this important area of work, seeing spirituality as part of person centred care" (Care Inspectorate, Scottish Social Services Council)

Informing good practice

The results of the survey will create an important body of evidence to inform good practice across the country. It will also help to shape a training programme ('The Purple Bicycle Project' delivered by the same consortium of organisations) which will be taking place in Edinburgh in 2017 and in Highland, Dundee, and Dumfries for early 2018.

Further information

For further information about the survey, contact Simon Jaquet (Director, Simon Jaquet Consultancy Services Ltd) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.