The Spiritual Dimension of Ageing

Elizabeth MacKinlay.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
ISBN 184310 008 8

found this book difficult, challenging and, in parts, hard to take. If I were
honest, had it not been for the fact that I was reviewing it, it would in all
probability not have passed the second analysis of the seven stages of faith
development (page 120).

don’t let my ghost of a Calvinistic upbringing, my anxiety about mixing social
care with spiritual counselling or my scepticism about the "meaning of
life" made simple put you off. The book attempts to ground an
understanding of spirituality for frail older people in a body of research and
thus legitimise the right of health and social care professionals to see
"spiritual needs" within a holistic approach to assessment and

is neither accessible nor inspiring. Some chapters led me to think they would
present me with some innovative, useful and challenging insights.
Unfortunately, they left me disengaged.

strongest of all the chapters is when MacKinlay takes off the academic gown and
puts on her clerical robes ("The spiritual dimension of ageing";
"Challenges and Preparation"). Had she kept faith with the latter, I
believe the book would have struck a better chord with this particular reader.

Eastman is director, UK Better Government for Older People Network.

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