International conference highlights importance of spirituality and aging

This month, spiritual care providers, academics and researchers, senior care leaders, older adults and those interested in spirituality are coming together to discuss the importance of building connections, communicating and listening at the 9th International Conference On Ageing And Spirituality: Vital Connections – Claiming voice and learning to listen.

The conference is chaired by Schlegel Specialist in Spirituality and Aging Jane Kuepfer, and highlights the importance of spirituality as the aging population grows globally. This international conference aims to start stimulating discussions, offer learning opportunities and build meaningful connections with others who care about the role of spirituality in older adults’ lives.

Covering topics from embracing dementia, inspiring intergenerational relationships, how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the spirituality of seniors and cultural and religious practices that can care for the soul, this conference takes an international approach to spirituality and aging. With speakers from Canada, the United States and Australia, and participants from at least 9 countries, common threads of communication and connections show that spirituality is important to aging no matter where a person is from.

“We can learn so much from each other by breaking down the barriers of borders,” says Kuepfer. “Our international colleagues can teach us so much about how we interact with older adults and how we support their spiritual growth. Coming together means our work and learning can be shared for the benefit of all.”

Due to pandemic travel restrictions, the conference has gone virtual this year. Events from the conference will take place between June 8th and 22nd, 2021. Anyone interested in accessing the recordings for this conference can register online. Registration and recordings will be available until September 2021. To learn more about the conference and register, visit the official website: https://uwaterloo.ca/ageing-spirituality/.