A critical comparative study of pastoral care provision for the elderly in Britain, and its implications for contextualization in Ghana : an inter-cultural study with focus on selected mainline churches
Ageing---its problems and potentialities---is an issue of discussion, research and social policy in many developed and developing countries. In Ghana (as well as in many African States), the realisation of the problems of ageing is emerging as a result of the social changes that have weakened the traditional support system and plunged the once respected, venerated and cared-for elderly people into difficulties relating to their status, potential value and well-being within the new Ghanaian society. Christianity has pioneered many developments in Ghana, and has also been a contributor to the present social changes. This study is therefore an attempt to address the problems of ageing people in Ghana from a Christian pastoral care perspective in the hope of creating awareness at both statutory and non-statutory levels of the need to develop alternative support systems to enhance the status and well-being of the elderly in Ghanaian society. The studies thus involved a survey of pastoral care practices in the Church of Scotland, the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church (in England and Scotland) and the contexualisation of some of these pastoral care programmes in the Ghanaian situation. In studying the churches it became evident that there are various methods of pastoral care employed by denominations and within congregations for elderly people. These include research publications and discussions on ageing at national level, residential care, diocesan and parish programmes such as community awareness and support schemes, parish level luncheons, coffee mornings, day care and the church fellowship within the Christian communities which enable elderly people to participate in service to one another and to the Church.