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Practice Statement: Meaningful Lives

People have productive and purposeful lives, whether this is accomplished through volunteering, continued learning, leisure activities or employment. We assist people to discover what they’d like by offering opportunities to see what’s available and honouring their choice.

Practice Definition: Meaningful Lives

What would be observed in practice:

  • People are supported to locate employment, education, volunteer and/or social roles or meaningful activities that match their goals, desires, skills and aptitudes
  • Discussions around work, social roles, training and other opportunities take place with people to enable an understanding of what’s available
  • Opportunities are provided for different experiences and individual preferences
  • A meaningful life is built around being person centred and focused on the individual
  • Resources are identified for people to enable them to develop their full potential
  • People are engaged, included, interactive and have a sense of belonging

Role-based Resources

Residential Staff

Discussion Questions

  1. Discuss the most meaningful moments in your life so far. (E.g. having a child, gaining a qualification, physical triumph etc.) What made them so meaningful?
  2. How do we know what makes life meaningful for the people in the house?
  3. What supports do the people in the house need to live meaningful lives and how do we as staff provide them? (eg active support, bridging impairment gaps, involving people in as much as possible etc.)

Activities

Video

Quotes:

Viktor Frankl was a Jewish psychiatrist from Austria who was interred in concentration camps (including Auschwitz) during World War 2. His experiences in the camps led him to believe that people who had a reason to live and hope for the future were more likely to survive. After the war he developed a psychological theory and therapy based on seeking meaning in people’s lives.

Below are a number of quotes by Frankl and others about finding meaning in one’s life. Consider and discuss these in relation to the people you support.

“For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.” Viktor E Frankl

“The reality that the (intellectually disabled) person is a version of myself is one from which so much can be learned and gained, and yet, it is a reality which most people deny and try to escape from.” Wolf Wolfensberger

“Disability need not be an obstacle to success.” Stephen Hawking

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”Joshua J Marine

“Joy comes into our lives when we have something to do someone to love and something to hope for.” Anon

“The more roles a person has, and the more valued are those roles, the more chance a person has of experiencing the ‘good things in life’.” John Armstrong

Community Services

Discussion Questions

  1. What are the most meaningful moments in your life so far? (eg having a child, gaining a qualification, physical triumph etc) What made them so meaningful?
  2. How do we know what makes life meaningful for the people we support?
  3. What barriers do the people we support face for living meaningful lives and how can we support the people to overcome them?

Activities

Hub and Support Staff

Discussion Questions

  1. After reading the article, discuss the most meaningful moments in your life so far. (E.g. having a child, gaining a qualification, physical triumph etc.) What made them so meaningful?
  2. In what ways can hub staff contribute to make people’s lives meaningful? (E.g. including people we support in hub activities, making an effort to make friends, leveraging our relationships to support Outcomes Brokers etc.)
  3. How do we model and support frontline workers to support people to live meaningful lives?

Managers and Coordinators

Discussion Questions

  1. After reading the article, discuss the most meaningful moments in your life so far. (E.g. having a child, gaining a qualification, physical triumph etc.) What made them so meaningful?
  2. How do we model in our work the importance of supporting people (and staff) to lead meaningful lives?
  3. How do we assist staff to enable them to support people to live meaningful lives?

Activities

Think Piece 

Video

Quotes:

Viktor Frankl was a Jewish psychiatrist from Austria who was interred in concentration camps (including Auschwitz) during World War 2. His experiences in the camps led him to believe that people who had a reason to live and hope for the future were more likely to survive. After the war he developed a psychological theory and therapy based on seeking meaning in people’s lives.

Below are a number of quotes by Frankl and others about finding meaning in one’s life. Consider and discuss these in relation to the people you support.

“For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.” Viktor E Frankl

“The reality that the (intellectually disabled) person is a version of myself is one from which so much can be learned and gained, and yet, it is a reality which most people deny and try to escape from.” Wolf Wolfensberger

“Disability need not be an obstacle to success.” Stephen Hawking

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”Joshua J Marine

“Joy comes into our lives when we have something to do someone to love and something to hope for.” Anon

“The more roles a person has, and the more valued are those roles, the more chance a person has of experiencing the ‘good things in life’.” John Armstrong

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