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Knowledge Exchange

Ageing and Spirituality Webinar

The Last Stage of Human Growth is Mortality

Join us on Wednesday, 14 October 2020, 7pm – 9pm
Register for the webinar below

Selwyn Foundation invites you to join our first Ageing and Spirituality Webinar.

Due to COVID-19 we have moved our annual conferences, seminars, workshops etc to virtual events.

We invite you to join us on Wednesday 14 October 2020 from 7pm – 9pm for an interactive webinar where Selwyn Foundation Spiritual Director Reverend Caroline Leys and Hospice NZ Clinical Advisor Professor Rod MacLeod will discuss the topic ‘The Last Stage of Human Growth is Mortality’, they will discuss questions from the audience.

The focus of the discussion will be on older people, although what we discuss will have some relevance for death from mid-life years, but not so much relevance for children and young adults.

All stages of life provide opportunity for growth and discovery, especially if we meet life challenges with an open heart and mind. Elders, in spite of losses and physical declines in later life frequently report feeling content, research shows they have lower rates of psychopathology than the general population. Older people often see themselves as resilient because of adversity and their ongoing skill, in negotiating and overcoming challenges and losses over time.

Well engaged mortality strengthens growth. The knowledge of negotiating the personal concept of mortality, that is our life as we know it is finite. This can challenge us, it can bring to the surface questions such as:

  • Have we made a difference?
  • Are we leaving a legacy?
  • Are we surrounded by love or are we alone?
  • Do we need to find reconciliation because of difficulty?

These questions are in the realm of spirituality, they are philosophical questions about meaning and purpose. However, we may be frightened of everything we know coming to an end, or it may be painful to have the honest discussion, we may find it difficult to raise the matters that concern us.

It is our belief that those of us who work with people near the end of their life, need to develop our fluency to open opportunities for these conversations, and to be ready to have the conversations that are difficult.

On the Webinar, Rod and Caroline will engage in these conversations. They will explore all these factors and how family encounter and cope, or not, with what their elder is really needing and wanting in the last stage of their life. Rod and Caroline invite you to join them to advance the discussion.

Register via the box below, or through our event page on Eventbrite.

Register now:

Kotuku Point, Great Barrier Island, facing north to Hawaiki Nui photo by Stephen Leys ©
Caroline Leys

Caroline is an Anglican Priest and is a graduate of the General Seminary, New York with an S.T.M. (Masters) of Ascetical Studies. Since ordination as priest in 1990 she has worked in private practice as a therapist, facilitator, trainer and more recently in ministry and business development. Caroline is a certified Sageing Leader for Sage-ing International.

Previously Caroline gained her Registered Nurse (Comprehensive) qualification from AIT. She is a mother and grandmother and has been married to Stephen for over 40 years.

As Director, Spiritual Care for the Selwyn Foundation, Caroline leads strategic development of the spiritual wellbeing dimension of The Selwyn Way — which is our approach to the care and wellbeing of all who connect with us. The intention is that spirituality is embedded and accessible across everything the Foundation does as a charity, in our villages, through our community services, and through education and knowledge exchange for staff, older people and their families.

Rod MacLeod MNZM, MB ChB, MMedEd, PhD, FRCGP, FAChPM

Rod Macleod was until last year, Palliative Medicine Specialist at Harbour Hospice and is now Clinical Advisor to Hospice New Zealand. He has worked in specialist palliative care for thirty years in England, New Zealand and Australia.

In 2003, he was appointed the inaugural South Link Health Professor in Palliative Care at the University of Otago, Dunedin School of Medicine and in 2013 was appointed Conjoint Professor in Palliative Care at the University of Sydney.

He has published over 120 peer-reviewed articles in the area of palliative care in national and international journals and has written over 20 book chapters for palliative care texts. He is co-Editor in Chief of the Textbook of Palliative Care published by Springer last year.

He is one of the authors of The Palliative Care Handbook which has become a freely available standard text for health care professionals in New Zealand and more recently New South Wales.

He was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s birthday honours in 2015.