Body, Mind, and Spirit for Older Adults

Kayaking at Ferry Beach, Saco, ME

Kayaking at Ferry Beach, Saco, ME

Reflections on Aging

  • In Later Years, by Bruce T. Marshall (Skinner House, 2018). A Unitarian Universalist minister and chaplain explores questions of meaning and spirituality in aging through the stories and experiences of elders. The book includes personal reflection questions and guidance for group conversations.
  • Faith, Spirituality, and Aging, is an essay by Rev. Jennifer L. Brower, Minister for Pastoral Care at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, NY. She offers insights into the spiritual challenges and gifts that come with advancing age.
  • Landscapes of Aging And Spirituality, edited by Kathleen Montgomery (Skinner, 2015), includes reflections from Unitarian Universalist ministers on the spiritual journey of aging. Watch a reading and discussion (Video) with some of the contributors to the book: Kathleen Montgomery, Gary Smith, Patricia Tummino, and Carl Scovel (1:07:25)
  • The Seasoned Soul: Reflections on Growing Older, by Eliza Blanchard (Skinner, 2012), uses quotations from many cultures and religious traditions as a springboard for thoughtful reflections on aging.
  • Safer Sex for Seniors Fact Sheets, (Multiple authors, content updated 2022), offer helpful information for older adults, healthcare providers, and caregivers. Scroll to the bottom half of the linked URL to access the free fact sheets, a PSA (public service announcement), and a free downloadable poster.
  • The Stonewall Generation: LGBTQ Elders on Sex, Activism, and Aging, by Jane Fleishman (Skinner, 2020) features interviews with fearless elders in the LGBTQ community who came of age around the time of the Stonewall Riots.

Keeping Healthy

  • Kendal at Home, a non-profit founded on Quaker values, offers seminars and resources to help people age-in-place in their own homes. Their blog offers guidance and suggestions on a variety of topics.
  • United Methodist Homes, whose mission is to provide a contimuum of services that supports health, independence, and dignity, offers suggestions for websites and other sources of brain games to keep mentally sharp.
  • Discover connection, creativity, and worship in Second Life, an online virtual reality world. Participants create an avatar who can visit and interact with virtual places and other avatars. Find out more about how to take part in activities and events in this virtual world.
  • The LGBT Healthy Aging Toolkit from the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging offers links to a variety of resources for keeping mind, body, and spirit healthy.
  • "Fraying at the Edges," a 2016 special section in The New York Times, presents a moving portrait of a woman's journey through the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

Adult Faith Development Programs

  • Hindsight, Humor, and Hope: Who, Me, an Elder?
    Helps people as they begin to redesign their later years into a time of reflection, discernment, soul stretching, and new life possibilities. This gift of extended years finds many people becoming elders with deep personal questions such as, Who am I now? and What will I do that is meaningful? (6 two-hour workshops)
  • From the High Hill: Odyssey Writing for Elders
    Engages elders in mining the stories of a lifetime to create a presentation to share with peers, loved ones, and co-congregants.(2 weekend retreats frame a period of personal work)
  • Our Whole Lives (OWL) for Older Adults
    The newest program in the UUA and United Church of Christ series of sexuality education series, OWL for Older Adults addresses the interests and needs of adults ages 50 and above. The core curriculum has interactive workshops on topics such as attitudes and values, age-related sexual changes and body image, sexual identity, boundaries and consent, partner loss, and challenges to sexual expression. This is the capstone curriculum in the Our Whole Lives series, a comprehensive, lifespan sexuality education curricula for use in both secular settings and faith communities.

Landscapes of Aging and Spirituality Essays

In 19 lovely essays, elders reflect on the experience of aging and how it intersects with their spiritual lives. These heartfelt ruminations are alternately tender and frank, funny and wistful.

Landscapes of Aging and Spirituality

55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal Your Guide to a Better Life

For the millions of people in their fifties and sixties who find themselves out of work, unable to find a job, and financially incapable of retiring, here's a practical plan for getting past any blame or shame, overcoming denial, and finding a path to a new normal.

55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal

Lisa Rubin, DRE, tells a story at First Parish, Bedford, MA

Lisa Rubin, DRE at First Parish, Bedford, MA, tells a story for all ages.

Dale Brook, a member of the Charlotte, NC congregation, at Charlotte Pride FestivalPride

A member of the UU Church of Charlotte, NC at the Charlotte Pride Festival

Our Whole Lives, Older Adult

By Melanie Davis

A holistic sexuality education curriculum for older adults. Comprehensive and progressive, this program addresses sexuality with sensitivity and respect for older adults’ wisdom and life experience.

Buy This Book

In Later Years book cover with black line around edge

In Later Years, by Bruce T. Marshall (Skinner House, 2018). Available at inSpirit: UU Book and Gift Shop.

Holding hands at worship, Eleanor Forbes Chapel, Ferry Beach

Benediction, Eleanor Forbes Chapel, Ferry Beach, Saco, ME

older adult clap to music at GA 2014 worship

Worship leaders at 2014 General Assembly

People singing a hymn at Sunday service, UU Fellowship of Durango, CO

Sunday morning worship, UU Fellowship of Durango, CO