Everyone who provides services to older adults believes in the biomedical model that addresses the body, mind, and spirit of their clients. On the whole, service providers--be they long-term care professionals, academics, social workers, program professionals, counselors, or even clergy--are quite adept at dealing with the body and the mind. But few understand the essential role of the client's spiritual perspective, which can enhance and make their services and ministries more effective. The Essential Spirit provides such a viewpoint: 1) by exploring a definition of spirituality that is inclusive of both religious and non-religious understandings; and 2) addressing the viewpoints of professionals from a variety of viewpoints. Recognizing that the experience of spirituality is personal and qualitative, The Essential Spirit adds another voice to the ongoing dialogue among professionals and clergy. ""Don Koepke has performed a great service to practitioners in gerontology by compiling this volume of enlightening, thoughtful essays by a group of authors who know what they write about and offer both theoretical foundations and practical guidance. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to provide more meaningful care to those who are facing the challenges of growing older."" --Stephen Sapp, Professor of Religious Studies Emeritus, University of Miami ""Affirming that our journeys into old age will be uniquely our own, Donald Koepke and the collective of wisdom-filled authors of The Essential Spirit, remind us - whether we crumble or thrive in the process of aging we can ultimately find meaning and transformation. This book is an encouraging, enlightening guide for all those who desire to accompany people who are privileged to grow old through doorways leading us into our respective spiritualities."" --Jade C. Angelica, author of Where Two Worlds Touch: A Spiritual Journey Through Alzheimer's Disease Donald R. Koepke is Founding Director of the CLH Center for Spirituality in Aging (retired), former secretary of the National Interfaith Coalition on Aging, present Editor of Published materials for the Forum on Religion, Spirituality and Aging, author of several journal article and book chapter, and editor of Ministering to Older Adults: The Building Blocks.