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FAITH IN OLDER PEOPLE – A conversation in the JUST Festival

Cultural diversity, faith and ageing

Much is written and spoken about ageing which tends to focus on the negative aspects rather than the contribution made by older people and the importance that faith plays in their lives.  This important conversation will provide an opportunity to consider ageing from different cultural and faith perspectives.  Faith in Older People wishes to give more attention to the importance of faith to many older people and that we need to better understand the supportive responses from different faith communities and what the different theologies say about ageing and older people.  We have much to learn from each other and it is important that we can have robust and constructive debates.

Chairperson:  Rt Rev Bruce Cameron with panel members drawn from the Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities.

Wednesday 16th August at 19.30-21.00 at the Quaker House, Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh.  Booking details will be in the JUST Festival programme

Faith in Older People appreciates the grant that the Life Changes Trust has awarded for the collaborative project on spiritual care in care homes and the incorporation of the Purple Bicycle Project. 

We are in the process of undertaking a survey and holding workshops to highlight the importance of enabling people with dementia to express their spiritual care needs and for action to be taken.  It is important that staff recognise their talents in this respect and the project has team building and development at its core for the benefit of residents.


Please see below, a link to the Come On In guide that has been financed as a peer-to-peer resource, written primarily by people living in a care home (Campbell Snowdon in Quarriers Village) and their families and produced by the Care Inspectorate.

The aim of this peer-to-peer resource is to help people better understand how important care home visits are, and how to handle them.  Please feel free to share widely.

Available for download - our Annual Report 2015/2016

SAVE THE DATE - 7th International Conference on Ageing and Spirituality :“Transition and Transcendence: Transforming Aging Through Spirituality”.  Hosted by Concordia University Chicago’s, Center for Gerontology. June 4 – 7, 2017 in River Forest, IL at Concordia University Chicago

The updated 3rd edition of good practice guidance on “Decisions relating to CPR” from the BMA, RCN and RC(UK) has been published and is available from the following link


Read our blog on Compassion and Empathy: I recently had the opportunity to lead a discussion during the Festival of Empathy on ‘compassion and empathy’ with a focus on older people in our different faith communities..... visit our blogsite via

Who we are

Faith in Older People (FiOP) is a Scottish National Charity based in Edinburgh.  Its focus is on ’spirituality and ageing’.  We define spirituality as ‘that which gives meaning and purpose to our lives’

Research and practical action has evidenced that the spiritual dimension is of great importance as we age.  This is a time when we come to terms with issues that matter towards the end of our lives. It guides the achievement of person-centred care by understanding the inner person and their values, and to take this as the starting point for caring practice.

What we do


Enabling a better understanding of the importance of the spiritual dimension to the well-being of older people

Our Aims

  • to educate, encourage and support volunteers, health and social care workers, members of faith communities and other agencies to increase their understanding of spiritual care and issues around ageing.

  • to deliver events, courses and materials to meet identified need.

  • to continue to build the capacity and efficiency of the organisation.


The concept of spirituality is difficult to understand although there is an increasing acknowledgement that it plays an important part in our lives.  There are two approaches to the definition of spirituality; both acknowledge a search for meaning.  For some people a divine presence is central; for others spirituality is a secular concept involving inner life and personal belief.

Five ways of thinking about spirituality as:

  • part of a religious belief
  • a secular concept
  • a metaphor for absence
  • a search for meaning with or without God
  • the deepest values and meanings by which people seek to live

For a fuller explanation please go to the publication ‘Insights’ – spirituality and ageing:  implications for the care and support of older people’ published by IRISS, written by Dr. Harriet Mowat and Maureen O’Neill