Faith in the Future
Healthcare, Aging, and the Role of Religion
Dr. Harold Koenig was recently interviewed by Newsweek (November 10, 2003) about his book Spirituality in Patient Care (Templeton Foundation Press) and his research in the area of religion and health. He has become the international voice on the subjects of spirituality, health, and aging. In this book he is joined by two other experts on aging and human development. They present a compelling look at one of the most serious issues in today’s society: health care in America.
How will we provide quality healthcare to older adults who will need it during the next thirty to fifty years? Who will provide this care? How will it be funded? How can we establish systems of care now to be in place as demographic and health-related economic pressures mount?
Alongside the sobering reality of the challenges our country faces, there are reasons for optimism. Innovative programs created and maintained by volunteers and religious congregations are emerging as pivotal factors in meeting health care needs. Summarizing decades of scientific research and providing numerous inspirational examples and role models, the authors present practical steps that individuals and institutions may emulate for putting faith into action.
Introduction / 3
Part I: The Dilemma and Challenge / 13
Chapter One: Our Aging Population: The Dilemma and Challenge / 19
Chapter Two: Spiraling Healthcare Costs / 28
Chapter Three: Healthcare Institutions: Financial Pressures, Innovative Opportunities / 40
Part II: Some Solutions to Our Healthcare Crisis / 53
Chapter Four: Prevention, Healthy Living, and Wellness / 55
Chapter Five: Religion, Aging, and Health / 77
Chapter Six: Religion and the Long Tradition of Caring for the Sick / 98
Part III: The Role of Caring Communities 111
Chapter Seven: Religious Congregations and Retirement Communities as Support Networks / 113
Chapter Eight: Successful Aging and Purpose-Filled Retirement: The Mutual Benefits of Volunteering / 125
Chapter Nine: What “Caring” for the Elderly Truly Entails / 150
Part IV: Implementing the Vision / 167
Chapter Ten: The Partnership of Government, Philanthropy, and Faith-Based Communities / 169
Chapter Eleven: Practical Steps for Putting Faith into Action / 188
Appendix A: Contact Information / 203
Appendix B: References / 206
Index / 209