The loss of a spouse, friend, physical/cognitive functional ability, health and economic resources may cause an older adult to experience a decline in self-image, loneliness and depression. Along with these losses, many questions may arise about the meaning of life. Older adults also mourn the person they were because they believe they are no longer that person. Spiritual care instills meaning in an older adult's life in times of crisis.
There is a need for professionals with relevant knowledge and tools to provide spiritual care for older adults and their family members.
Eshel developed and professionalized the field of spiritual care in Israel through promoting spiritual care as a relevant strategy in the care of older adults. The focus of this program is on educating geriatric professionals and relevant government officials so that they will bring spiritual care to their places of work. These courses aim to give participants basic knowledge about spirituality, especially for older adults; provide tools for integrating spiritual care into their own professional work; raise awareness of and appreciation for spiritual care for older adults, their families, and the staff that works with them; and integrate spiritual care into the field of aging.
- Relief in crisis situations
- Improve sense of emotional well-being
- Emotional resilience - has a sense of purpose, meaning and ability
- Feels secure due to spiritual support
- Expand professionals' basket of tools and knowledge around spiritual care
- Promote academic/government recognition and specialization in the field
2013 – 2017 (Eshel has phased out of the program, which continues to operate. Eshel no longer has operational and financial responsibility for the program, but does retain limited professional oversight.)