What does it mean to grow old? What makes later life meaningful? What gives a frail and isolated or institutionalised older person their sense of wholeness and self?
This substantially updated new edition of Elizabeth MacKinlay's seminal text presents the latest theory and research to explore these questions in depth, pointing the way towards new ways of thinking about and engaging with the spirituality of ageing. Encompassing the findings of a new research study on baby boomer spirituality, the book presents a wider and more comprehensive view of ageing and spirituality, concluding that spirituality for the baby boomer generation is every bit as important as for the cohorts before them, but also fundamentally different, with fewer being practicing members of a religious faith. Drawing on in-depth interviews with older people, and containing many new ideas whilst also addressing the foundational theories and questions essential to scholarship in this field, the book also includes a new and timely chapter on the spirituality of older people in our increasingly multicultural and multifaith societies.
This clear and practical text presents much-needed guidance for health and social care practitioners, chaplains, clergy and others seeking to identify and support the spiritual needs of older people, as well as students and researchers in related disciplines.
Elizabeth MacKinlay is a registered nurse and an Anglican priest. She was the inaugural Director of the Centre for Ageing and Pastoral Studies at St Mark's National Theological Centre, Canberra, and is a Professor in the School of Theology, Charles Sturt University. Elizabeth was Chair of the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing ending her term in 2008 and the ACT Senior Australian of the Year for 2009.
1. Ageing societies and the spiritual dimension. 2. Religion, faith, spirituality and the psychosocial dimension. 3. Building an understanding of spirituality and ageing: a model of spirituality and ageing. 4. Baby boomer ageing and spirituality: same or different? Elizabeth MacKinlay and Dr. Richard Burns. 5. Building an understanding of spirituality and ageing: a model for spiritual growth and development. 6. Models of spirituality in ageing: a multifaith perspective. 7. Meaning in Life: from provisional meaning to final meanings - a spiritual process. 8. Types of ultimate meaning and images of God. 9. Responses to ultimate meaning in life: religious. 10. Response to ultimate meaning through experience and activity. 11. The spiritual journey in ageing. 12. Perceptions of self-sufficiency and vulnerability in ageing: transcending disabilities and loss. 13. Wisdom and the move from provisional to final meanings. 14. Hope, fear, despair and the final life career. 15. Humour, laughter, spirituality and ageing. 16. Spirituality, relationship and issues of isolation in ageing. 17. Living in a hyper-cognitive society: issues of cognitive decline, personhood and spirituality. 18. A picture of spirituality and ageing. 19. The spiritual dimension of ageing: meeting the challenges and roles in spiritual care for aged care professionals and pastoral practitioners.