Ann Benton’s book draws from her experiences while caring for her father-in-law for 15 months prior to his death. It brings out the need for Christians to take on board the aging society in our homes and churches.
‘The bulging post war baby boom generation is about to hit retirement … and many of this generation will live to their 90s with varying and increasing degrees of frailty.’ This brings tremendous opportunities to the church.
Ann Benton believes that ‘often evangelical churches have focused effort and attention on the young, to the neglect of those teetering on the brink of eternity’ – and have been ‘blind to those everyday needs of aging people in our streets and even in our pews’.
She writes: ‘While the NHS is apparently in terminal failure, dying for want of resources, sensible management and a coherent philosophy of care and service, churches have a real opportunity to show what care in the community can be. Bring on the Christians.’
She helpfully outlines the benefits of caring for elderly parents – exploring the aging experience from the inside, the pitfalls of caring, and the practical strategies required.
Having cared for my own mother last year prior to her death, I can definitely say that the advice is helpful. Reading this book would be beneficial before you embark on caring for an elderly person. However, the real focus of the book only comes in the last three chapters – a focus that would have been better at the beginning.
This book is recommended not just for private reading by those involved in care and support of the elderly at home, but also for those who recognise the challenge to the churches – and are prepared to use this book as a resource to prompt discussion and think through the implications for the church. But Christian Focus, please change the cover!