‘Two-eyed seeing’: the integration of spiritual care in Aboriginal residential aged care in South Australia

Nina Sivertsen, Ann Harrington, Mohammad Hamiduzzaman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


It is argued that spirituality acts as a powerful determinant of health and influences the general care experiences of older people living in residential aged care. This impact is significant, especially for Aboriginal residents, whose cultural and spiritual well-being is shown to be strongly connected with divine beliefs, land and community. This study, a qualitative exploration from conversational interviews with 7 Aboriginal residents and 19 carers, aimed to investigate how the Aboriginal residents’ spiritual well-being related to living in residential aged care in South Australia.Participants shared what spirituality meant to them and how spiritual needs are met in aged care centres for Aboriginal residents.Three major themes emerged from the views of the residents and carers: a lack of understanding of spiritual well-being; challenges around aged care plan; and practice and inadequate resources and funding. The main themes and sub-themes contributed to carers’ unawareness around the spiritual care needs of Aboriginal residents. This study concluded there was a requirement for changes in care management and staff approach, and management structure in order to integrate spiritual care into general care for Aboriginal residents in aged care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-171
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Religion, Spirituality and Aging
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Aboriginal residents
  • cultural safety
  • spiritual care needs
  • health care services
  • aged care centers
  • healthcare services
  • spiritual care


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