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New publication: Windows on the world: towards a theology of liberation for older people living in residential care homes

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New publication: Windows on the world: towards a theology of liberation for older people living in residential care homes

Hoy off the press – check out this open access publication

Wednesday 30th November 2022

Abstract:

“There is limited literature about the experiences of older people living in care homes from the viewpoint of older people, and the literature available tends to focus on quality of life. Although connections to the wider community are recognised as important, what these connections mean to older people is not explored in depth, nor is this explored from a theological perspective. This article is based on research carried out in four residential care homes in North West England comprising of participant observation and in-depth interviews with four older people in each home. The theological reflection takes inspiration from Julian of Norwich, confined to a cell, but with windows on the Church and street providing opportunities for connection. I demonstrate that physical and metaphorical windows provide opportunities for relationships to develop and a sense of belonging to the wider world. I argue that a liberation theology of ageing should include older people having a place of belonging in the wider community, and that this is necessary for the community to have shalom. Belonging frees older people from feelings of shame and marginalisation, enabling them to flourish. This paper concludes by outlining its implications for the care home and the wider society.”

“The purpose of this paper is to theologically reflect on an investigation into how older people perceive their connections to people in the wider community in terms of their community networks and the functions these relationships fulfil. Community also includes connections to creation, the past and the future or spiritual and psychological dimensions, but this is beyond the scope of this article. Considering older people‚Äôs connections to the wider world leads me to argue that a liberation theology of ageing should include older people having a place of belonging in the wider community. This is necessary for the community to have shalom.”

For full access to this care home research click here