Aging and Spirituality: Spiritual Dimensions of Aging Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy

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David O. Moberg
Haworth Pastoral Press, 2001 - Family & Relationships - 249 pages
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Explore the spiritual dimensions of aging through science, theory, and practice!

During the later years of life, many people devote energy to a process of spiritual awakening and self-discovery. Yet their family, friends, clergy, and the helping professionals who work with them are not always prepared to understand or deal with the spiritual concerns of their clients. Aging and Spirituality provides a unique, far-reaching overview of this long-neglected field.

Divided into four independent but interwoven sections, this landmark book covers the spiritual realm with scientific rigor and deep human understanding. Aging and Spirituality comprehensively surveys the issues of spirituality, from the groundwork of basic definitions to detailed assessments of the role spirituality plays in the lives of the elderly and suggested directions for further research. This book's unique approach combines scholarly research and practical nuts-and-bolts suggestions for service delivery. By drawing from many disciplines and professions, it offers fresh perspectives to even those practitioners already familiar with the most effective spiritual techniques their own field can offer.

Aging and Spirituality answers such common questions as:
  • What are the spiritual needs of people later in life?
  • Is there any solid evidence that prayer changes things?
  • How is spirituality related to physical and mental health?
  • Does spirituality matter when people know they are dying?
  • How can we measure spiritual wellness and assess the outcomes of activities intended to enhance it?
  • Will attention to spirituality aggravate or alleviate the losses--of friends, family, health, youth--that so often occur during old age?
Aging and Spirituality provides a much-needed resource for health care professionals, clergy, social workers, and counselors working with geriatric clients. By integrating spiritual issues into the theoretical framework of social gerontology, Aging and Spirituality will help you understand the scientific foundations, practical applications, and public policy implications of spirituality for older adults.

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About the author (2001)

Moberg is Sociology Professor Emeritus at Marquette University, where he has taught a broad range of courses, including sociology of religion, social gerontology, and religion and aging.

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