Isabel Tom grew up with grandparents living right next door to her - literally, they shared a bedroom wall in the same house. Her chosen ministry while attending Houghton College was to serve the senior adults in her community by making weekly visits to their living facilities. Her first “real” job out of college was an opportunity to explore the various ways care was provided to the elderly (defined, for the sake of the book, to be those aged 65 and up). Now, 15 years later, she writes about her experiences, what she has learned, and what others can value when spending time with the elderly in our communities. Ms. Tom continues to work with the elderly even as she raises her own children.
The book is about ministering to those 65 and older. How to listen to them, how to learn from them, and how to value them. She allows the reader to appreciate those who are sometimes left out of modern western society and under-valued by a world that can quickly pass them by. The book is not a “how-to” book, but it is practical. It comes full of hints on how to begin conversations, how we (at any age) can empower them in age-appropriate ways, and encouraging the reader to learn from those who have lived life before us.
The book is a must-read for all those who will interact with their elders - whether on the job, in a faith community, or within our families. The book would be of value to teens trying to navigate their grandparents - whether they are physically present or living some distance away. The Value of Wrinkles will provide hints to youth leaders on ways that their charges can minister to and learn from those at the other end of life’s spectrum. Pastors will find new ways to interact with their aging congregations. Parents will find suggestions for encouraging their children to discover the lives of their grandparents and great-grandparents.
The bottom line is that “if you interact with the elderly, this book will support your contact with them.” It belongs on the shelves of public libraries, church libraries, and on the desk of ministry professionals.
It should be noted that this book is written by a graduate of the nearby college supported by my denomination. This being said, I do not know or had contact with the author. This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.