Spirituality and Aging – The Role of Counselors
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This thesis examines the importance of religion and spirituality to older adults and the implications for counsellors who work with this segment of the population. The initial premise of this thesis was that religion and one‘s spiritual experience would be helpful as one approaches old age. The literature supports this although the evidence is largely qualitative and empirical evidence is rare. Results show that older adults benefit greatly from embracing spirituality, however it is defined, having the opportunity to question, discuss, and learn how their lives have had meaning, and how they deal with change and cope with the reality of loss. In addition, the literature indicates a need for education and training specific to how counsellors and health-care providers discuss, work with, and respond to issues that come up in the context of spirituality in the lives of older adults. The discussion focuses on counsellor training and education as well as the need for future evaluative research.