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Religious & Spiritual Life

Care for the Ages

"Care for the Ages" is a new initiative at the University of Denver, a collaboration between the Office of Religious & Spiritual Life and the Graduate School of Social Work, and supported by Human Resources. It is our hope that it will be a resource for those members of the community who are dealing with aging relatives, and/or, who are part of the "Sandwich Generation" (caring for both parents and children).

The program will take several forms: (1) a quarterly presentation on a topic related to care (e.g., legal documents, how to choose a care facility, how to deal with a parent who lives several states away, etc.); (2) regular brown-bag discussions for sharing ideas, support, complaints, etc.; and (3) a web resource with pointers to helpful sites, videos, podcasts, etc.


The ABC's of Disease and Aging (Fall Quarter 2013) – A panel discussion/presentation about the various diseases and ailments that beset the elderly.

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 at 12 p.m. in the 1864 Conference Room, Driscoll Student Center North.


General Resources
  • AARP My Generation – This page links to TV interviews, recommended book lists, and recommended movie lists from a variety of older adult perspectives.
  • PBS Health – For videos and news stories, check out this PBS' Health page. Recent stories and videos include topics on how to help a parent with dementia, asset allocation advice for the sandwich generation, women's changing roles and Social Security, and how the XBOX may revolutionize caregiving.
National Resources
  • Eldercare Locator – Helps connect older adults and their family members with services through this public service of the Administration on Aging. You can search by location (zip code or city, state) and by topic. Helpful links include fact sheets, web links, and brochures. Help is available at 1-800-677-1116.
  • Elderly Abuse and Addiction Program - is available to elderly individuals who would like to seek treatment for addiction combined with abuse issues. Such centers are able to care for those who suffer from addiction and are advanced in age, which can cause a number of different problems and difficulties.
  • Nursing Home Compare – Offers detailed information about Medicare and Medicaid nursing homes across the country
  • National Council on Aging – Provides information and links for older adults and caregivers, such as a free, confidential, online BenefitsCheckUp, Home Equity advising, Reverse Mortgage Counseling, and resources for staying healthy, making sense of Medicare, and advocating for your needs.
  • Family Caregiver Alliance – Offers information for caregivers, including State-specific resource lists, reviews, and tip sheets (i.e. communicating with your doctor and hands-on skills for caregivers).
  • National Institute of Health – Offers information, including health videos on topics related to general health and wellness of older adults, as well as, for specific diseases and health conditions.
  • Alzheimer's Association – Provides national and local resources, information about Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of Dementia, and resources for how to live with dementia. Resources include a 24/7 helpline at 1-800-272-3900 and a place to connect online with other caregivers.
  • The 36 Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for Persons with Alzheimer's Disease, Related Dimenting Illnesses and Memory Loss in Later Life, 5th Edition, 2011 by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins. This book is often referred to as the definitive guide for caregiving related to dementia. It contains information to help families cope with loved ones with dementia.

  • Caring for Your Parents: The Complete AARP Guide by Hugh Delehanty and Elinor Ginzler, AARP Books/Sterling Publishing Co., Inc, 2005. This book is a good resource guide for adult children. Many issues are covered including the Medicare maze, choosing a geriatric care manager, and most important ~ taking care of the Caregiver. The first section has some excellent tips on managing family relationships, working out issues with siblings, and ideas on how to talk to your parents.

  • Counting on Kindness: The Dilemmas of Dependency, 1993, by Wendy Lustbader. The author, social worker, and national speaker on aging shares many compassionate stories that offer insight into the process of shifting dependency from oneself to others, whether it be family, friends, or professional caregivers.

  • Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying, Reprint Edition, 2012, by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley. Written by two hospice nurses, this touching book share many of their experiences of helping families tending loved ones with terminal illness. The book shares both practical advise and examples of wisdom, faith, and love related to preparing emotionally and spiritually for death.

  • It Shouldn't Be This Way: The Failure of Long-Term Care, 2005, by Robert L. Kane and Joan C. West. In this book, Robert Kane (a physician and national expert in nursing home research) and his sister share their painful story of their mother's experiences transitioning to and living in a nursing home. This novel is part memoir and part practical guide that offers insights for others who are confronting such situations for the first time. They also share recommendations for change.

Videos & Movies
  • From the PBS show "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly" – "Deeply listening to what it is they're saying." That, says young hospice chaplain Kerry Egan, is the most important gift she offers to the dying patients she ministers to in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
  • From the PBS show, "Religion and Ethics Newsweekly" – "A lot of people in caregiving situations ask, 'Why is God doing this to me? Where is God in the midst of all this?' and they really struggle with spiritual matters," says Rev. Kate Bryant. Her church started a special ministry to support parental caregivers.

  • Away From Her (2006) – Away from Her (2006): A man coping with the institutionalization of his wife because of Alzheimer's disease faces an epiphany when she transfers her affections to another man, Aubrey, a wheelchair-bound mute who also is a patient at the nursing home. (110 minutes)
  • Up (2009) – This Pixar cartoon tells the story of 78-year-old Carl who experiences an adventure of travelling to South America by tying thousands of balloons to his aging home. His adventure starts with a poignant intro that showcases the importance of one's life course. This history intertwines the movie's adventure and the growing relationship Carl develops with Russell, an 8-year-old inadvertent stowaway. (96 minutes)