Reflections on the Meaningful Ageing Course

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If you are wondering about whether to sign up for the Meaningful Ageing Course, you may find the reflections from someone who has done the course helpful...

Since doing the Meaningful Ageing Course here in Bishop Auckland, I have been so much more aware of how I look upon and treat those who are obviously suffering from ageing in a biological way, whether that be in mind, through some kind of dementia, or in body with some of the physical limitations the ageing process brings with it, or both. It is so easy to look down on those we see as being 'less able', and to see first, or maybe only, their biological needs, treating with dignity and with care the biological body in front of us.

The Meaningful Ageing Course has brought me an awareness that I need to see the whole person, the 'Spiritual' person in front of me, the person who, whatever their appearance, has their own story, their own meaning, purpose and value, and has given me skills to be able to reflect that person back to them, so that they realise that they still have a valuable identity and personhood.

All of us are ageing and we should hold spiritual care and ageing in high regard, not just content to care about the medical / physical needs but to appreciate the spiritual life and changing needs as we age. Spirituality is about what gives us a purpose to our lives. It is about our sources of meaning and hope, which in turn is intimately related to our connectedness to ourselves, to others and to the world, and if we believe, to God. And the good news is, as we age, and as we decline mentally and physically that does not mean a spiritual decline. In fact, with advanced years, greater life experiences, and a history of spiritual lessons under our belt, we can have a healthier spiritual life than when we are younger.

A course lasts eight weeks with two hours per week class time and online learning homework to increase the learning experience of between 12 and 20 participants each time. The course covers the eight topics:

1. 'Understanding the Ageing Journey'
2. 'Spirituality in Ageing',
3. 'Good Communication'
4. 'The Power of Storytelling'
5. 'Dementia'
6. 'A New Home and a New Way of Life'
7. 'Loss, Grief, Death and Dying',
8. 'Roles, Boundaries and Self-Care'

Please get in touch if you would like to know more.

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