ERIC Number: ED230825
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov-22
The Role of the Church in the Aging Network.
Ellor, James W.; And Others
For more than a quarter of a century, both human service agencies and religious organizations have provided for the needs of the elderly. In order to study the relationship between these groups, clergy from mainline Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish churches and synagogues (N=34) and social service agency administrators in a midwestern suburb were interviewed. Examination of the data gathered in the interviews indicated that services provided by churches and synagogues fall into four basic groups: (1) religious programs, which include worship services, holiday food basket distribution, transportation to church for the elderly, and assistance for the elderly in climbing stairs; (2) pastoral care services, which include hospital visitations to seniors, nursing home visitations, telephone reassurance, home delivered meals, general transportation, free clothing, senior clubs, and educational discussion groups; (3) the Church as host, which includes use of the church or synagogue as a nutrition site and home companion service wherein outside social service agencies borrow the building and provide staff and programming; and (4) the Church as service provider, in which the Church has actually created its own social service agency, in this case a home companion service. The results suggest that churches and synagogues have moved from providing a majority of the services for the elderly to providing support for the social service agencies, which currently provide most of the needed services. In this particular midwestern community, the church functions mainly as a helping neighbor in an area rich in formal social service resources. (AG)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (35th, Boston, MA, November 19-23, 1982).