OAM Resources

We’d love to post what you’re doing with your older adults. Photos are welcome too! We also welcome your book, movie, poetry and web recommendations. Send to Sarah Anders – sarahanders@atlantech.net.

Below please find books, films and websites we recommend.

* indicates that a member of our working group recommends this book.

Aging’s Gifts

A Deepening Love Affair – The Gift of God in Later Life. Jane Marie Thibault. Upper Room Books, 1993. “This book deals with the inner work which I believe is the spiritual life task of the mature adult,” the author says. “There is nothing new in these pages, except my unwavering belief that those who are privileged to be experiencing late life have the challenge and opportunity to embark on a new vocation. That vocation is the call, the invitation, the experience, the union of an ever-deepening love affair with God in this life. I am convinced that God has saved the best for last.” (From the cover)

A Stage for Memory   A Guide to the Living History Theater Program of Elders Share the Arts. Renya T.H. Larson. National Center for Creative Aging, 2004.

A Time To Live – Seven Steps to Creative Aging. Robert Raines. Plume, 1997.

Aging – The Fulfillment of Life. Henri Nouwen and Walter J. Gaffney. Doubleday Image, 1974.

Audacious Aging. Stephanie Mahrone, ed. Elite Books, 2008.

Creative Aging. Marjoroe Zoet Bankson. Skylight Paths, 2010. (Bankson is local!)

Creativity Matters   The Arts and Aging Toolkit. Johanna Misey Boyer. National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts, 2007

Generating Community Intergenerational Partnerships Through the Expressive Arts. Susan Perlstein. Elders Share the Arts, 1994.

If I Live To Be 100 – Lessons from the Centenarians. Neenah Ellis. Three Rivers Press, 2002.

In The Arms of Elders – A Parable of Wise Leadership and Community Building. William H. Thomas, M.D. VanderWyk and Burnham, 2006.

Old Age – Journey Into Simplicity. Helen M. Luke. Parabola Books, 1987.

The Gift of Years. Joan Chittister. BlueBridge, 2008.

The Second Half of Life – Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom. Angeles Arrien. Sounds True, 2005.

What are Old People For? How Elders Will Save the World. William H. Thomas, M.D. VanderWyk and Burnham, 2004.


Aging Parents

Another Country – Navigating the Emotional Terrain of our Elders. Mary Pipher. Riverhead Books, 1999.

The Boomer’s Guide to Aging Parent The Complete Guide. Carolyn L. Rosenblatt www.agingparents.com 2010.

Coping With Your Difficult Older Parent   A Guide for Stressed-Out Children. Grace Lebow and Barbara Kane with Irwin Lebow. Harper, 1999.

How To Say It to Seniors – Closing the Communication Gap With Our Elders. David Solie. Prentice Hall Press, 2004

The Parent Care Conversation – 6 strategies for dealing with the emotional and financial challenges of aging parents. Dan Taylor. Penguin Books, 2004.



Passages in Caregiving. Gail Sheehy. William Morrow, 2010

The 36 Hour Day (see “Dementia and Alzheimer’s)


Death And Dying

Beyond the Mirror – Reflections on Death and Life. Henri J.M. Nouwen. Crossroad Publishing, 1990.

*The Denial of Death. Ernest Becker. Simon and Schuster, 1973.

Five Wishes – Aging with Dignity.   www.Agingwithdignity.com

Living Fully, Dying Well. Rueben Job. Abingdon Press, 2006.


Dementia And Altzheimer’s

Losing My Mind – An Intimate Look at Life with Alzheimer’s. Thomas DeBaggio. The Free Press, 2002

No Act of Love Is Ever Wasted – The Spirituality of Caring for Persons with Dementia. Jane Marie Thibault and Richard L. Morgan. Upper Room 2009

*The 36 Hour Day: a family guide to caring for people with Alzheimer disease, other dementias, and memory loss in later loss.  Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins. Johns Hopkins Univeristy Press 2006.

Time Slips Training Manual, DVD www.agingandcommunity.com

This method opens storytelling to everyone by replacing the pressure to remember with encouragement to imagine.  Proven to improve the quality of engagement between staff and residents in long term care, and provides the building blocks for effective, person-centered care. Includes history, theory, and specific steps to this unique method.

Time Slips Storytelling Kit www.agingandcommunity.com  This binder is full of 50 images, sample questions, and pages for you to add your own stories.  Ideal for use one-on-one, or with a group.  The kit complements the above training manual.


Older Adult Ministry

10 Gospel Promises For Later Life. Jane Marie Thibault. Upper Room Books, 2004.

Aging in the Church – How Social Relationships Affect Health. Neal M. Krause. Templeton Foundation Press. 2008

Aging and Ministry In The 21st Century – An Inquiry Approach. Richard H. Gentzler, Jr. Discipleship Resources, 2008.

Aging, Spirituality and Pastoral Care – A Multi-National Perspective. MacKinlay, Ellor and Pickared, eds. Haworth, 2001

Aging, Spirituality, and Religion – A Handbook Vol. 1. Melvin A. KImble, Susan H. McFadden, James W. Ellor, and James J. Seeber, eds. Augsburg Fortress, 1995.

Engaging in Ministry with Older Adults. Dosia Carlson. Alban Institute, 1997.

Aging as Counterculture – A Vocation for the Later Years. David J. Maitland. Pilgrim Press, 1991

The Art of Growing Old – A Guide to Faithful Aging. Carroll Saussy, Augsburg, 1998.

Aging with Grace – What the Nun Study Teaches Us About Leading Longer, Healthier, and More Meaningful Lives. David Snowdon. Bantam Books, 2001.

Changing Life Patterns   Adult Development in Spiritual Direction. Elizabeth Liebert. Chalice Press, 2000.

Designing an Older Adult Ministry. Richard H. Gentzler, Jr. Discipleship Resources, 1999.

Faith in the Future – Healthcare, Aging, And The Role Of Religion. Harold G. Koenig and Douglas M. Lawson. Templeton Foundation Press, 2004

Graceful Aging – Sermons for Third Agers. Richard L. Morgan. Fairway Press, 1990

Graying Gracefully – Preaching to Older Adults. William J. Carl, Jr., ed. Westminster John Knox Press, 1997.

Ministering to Older Adults – The Building Blocks. Donald R. Koepki, ed. Haworth Press, 2005 A step-by-step guide to developing a ministry for the aged that is focused on the needs and resources of each congregation. The book presents a process that includes essential questions that allow planning groups to develop answers that fit the needs, cultural, history, and structure of their individual congregations. (From the cover)

Older Adult Ministry – A Resource For Program Development. Presbyterian Publishing House, 1987. (A joint work by The Episcopal Society for Ministry on Aging, the Presbyterian Office on Aging and the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries. At one time an excellent resource, it’s time for a new edition!)

*Practical Theology of Aging. Rev. Derrel Watkins, ed. Haworth Press, 2003. Through Scripture, studies, and the personal experiences of religious leaders and congregants, Practical Theology for Aging offers new concepts for ministering to our older population. Each chapter looks at a different concern for the elderly and addresses it with the assurance that aging is part of God’s great work. From scientific models and case studies to passages from both the Old and New Testaments, this volume illuminates the power of faith in keeping the elderly whole and well. (From the cover)

Senior Adult Ministry In The 21st Century. Dr. David P. Gallagher. Wipf and Stock, 2002.

*Souls in Full Sail A Christian Spirituality for the Later Years. Emilie Griffin. IVP Books, 2011. Filled with wonderful, rich story, wisdom from those who have gone before us and carefully crafted spiritual exercises. She explores relocation, vocational changes, losing her mother, and negotiating and renegotiating her relationships with her grown children.

Soulful Aging – Ministry through the Stages of Adulthood . Henry C. Simmons and Jane Wilson. Smith and Helwys, 2001.

Spiritual Assessment and Intervention with Older Adults. Mark Brennan and Deborah Heiser eds. Haworth Press, 2004

Spiritual Marketplace – Baby Boomers and the Remaking of American Religion. Wade Clark Roof. Princeton University Press, 1999.

Vital Involvement in Old Age. Erik H. Erikson, Joan M. Erikson, Helen Q. Kivnick. W.W. Norton, 1986.


Planning For The Elder Years

The Complete Eldercare Planner – Second Edition. Joy Loverde. Three Rivers Press, 2000

Handbook for Mortals – Guidance for people facing serious illness. Joanne Lynn, M.D. and Joan Harold, M.D. 1999

The Keys to Senior Housing: A Guide for Two Generations. Roberta Benor. PublishAmerica 2009


Other Resources

A History of Old Age. Pat Thane, ed. Thomas & Hudson, Ltd., 2005. Seven contributors examine how the best thinkers and artists of each historical epoch in the West have treated old age. They examine the myths–like our belief that modern man lives longer than his ancestors did–and the images, both visual and verbal, that have been created to represent that which we shall all become.

A Place Called Canterbury – Tales of the New Old Age in America. Dudley Clendinen. Viking Penguin, 2008

Leisureville – Adventures in America’s Retirement Utopias. Andrew D. Blechman. Atlantic Monthly Press, 2008

New Approaches to Housing for the Second Half of Life. Andreas Huber, ed. Birkhauser, 2008

Tuesdays with Morrie: an Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson. Mitch Ablom. Doubleday, 1997


Fiction About Aging

Wish You Were Here by Stewart O’Nan

Emily, Alone by Stewart O’Nan

*Walking Across Egypt by Clyde Edgerton A quietly humorous story set in a small town in North Carolina. Edgerton infuses all of his characters with reality, and provides a balanced perspective on age and youth. (Rita G. Keeler, St. John’s School, Houston.) Also a movie starring Ellen Burstyn.

*Full Measure – Modern Short Stories on Aging. This book features a cast of seasoned characters, rich in experience if not always in virtue, who struggle to retain their humanity in the face of the physical and mental deterioration that is the universal fear of the aging. (Online review)

*Vital Signs – International Stories on Aging. The vitality of this impressive anthology of international stories will enlighten and entertain octogenarians and teenagers alike, while dispelling preconceived notions of aging as a phenomenon associated with the devolution of the body and the brain. In his thoughtful and hilarious introduction, Davies pinpoints the preservation of curiosity as that ingredient which cuts across chronological age and sustains the vibrant spirituality for which life was intended. (Online review)


Films And Documentaries:

Young@Heart – Documentary about a New England senior citizens chorus that surprise you with songs you’d never expect. Delightful!

The Way We Get By – Documentary about three senior citizens who have been on call 24/7 for the past six years, greeting nearly one million U.S. troops at a tiny airport in Maine.

Walking Across Egypt – see “Fiction about Aging.”



International Storytelling Center

National Center for Creative Aging

National Association of Social Workers—Professional resources on Aging

Clinical Psychiatry News: Geriatric Psychology

American Society on Aging (ASA)

ASA’s Forum on Religion. Society and Aging


“Practical Theology on Aging” from Religion Online

The Eldering Institute

Aging with Dignity: Home of the Five Wishes Program

US Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging            www.aoa.gov

National Council on Aging

Alzheimer’s Association (USA)

Solutions through Compassionate Communication

Homelessness and the Rising Elderly Population

Elder Abuse Resources

National Institutes of Health, Senior Health