July 27, 2016

Dementia and spirituality

if you would like to reserve any of the following  and you are a library member  - please email the Library nsw.library@alzheimers.org.au

Dementia and faith 2016 : equipping God'€™s people to take on the challenge of dementia : official symposium DVD

In February, our Dementia and Faith Symposium brought together healthcare professionals, pastoral workers and those personally caring for people with dementia, for the 2016 Dementia and Faith Symposium. Now, the recording made of the day including keynote presentations by Rev Prof Liz MacKinlay, a Q&A session with Bishop Chris Edwards and breakout session presented by Rev Dr Andrew Cameron and Rev Prof John Swinton.

books by Rev Prof Liz MacKinlay

Finding meaning in the experience of dementia : the place of spiritual reminiscence work
by Elizabeth MacKinlay and Corinne Trevitt
This book is based on the findings of the first major study on spiritual reminiscence work with people with dementia. Carried out over a decade, the study confirmed spiritual reminiscence to be an effective means of helping people with dementia to find meaning in their own experience, and interact in meaningful ways with others.
The authors present the evidence for the efficacy of spiritual reminiscence with this group, and drawing on examples demonstrate its many benefits, as revealed by the study, including the affirmation of identity and worth whilst promoting resilience and transcendence; reducing levels of depression; and giving people with dementia a voice with which to express grief, despair, joy, wisdom, insight and humour. Specific practice issues are addressed, including how to maximise communication and nurture connections during sessions; the role of symbol, ritual and liturgy and how to design an effective spiritual reminiscence program.
Ageing and spirituality across faiths and cultures
edited by Elizabeth MacKinlay
This collection of essays examines ageing in the context of the many faiths and cultures that make up Western society, and provides carers with the knowledge they need to deliver sensitive and appropriate care to people of all faiths. Chapters are written by authoritative figures from each of the world's major faith groups about the beliefs and practices of their older people. Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist perspectives are covered, as well as those of ageing veterans and ageing religious sisters. Issues of appropriate care are also addressed, and the book includes recommendations for policy and practice. This book will be a useful text for academics, policy makers and practitioners in health and social care, aged care workers, pastoral carers, chaplains and religious professionals, in hospital, residential and other care settings.

Facilitating spiritual reminiscence for people with dementia

Elizabeth MacKinlay and Corinne Trevitt,                           

The authors begin by positioning themselves firmly in the positive dementia care camp, putting the person before the dementia, and operating groups which are inclusive and respectful, emphasising remaining strengths, promoting engagement and facilitating communication. They clearly have an understanding of the value of reminiscence and cite the usual sources to indicate how it is a natural part of the ageing process and a ‘positive activity with educational, recreational, social and therapeutic benefits’ . They also attempt to explain their concept of spirituality as addressing the
core or ultimate meaning of life, covering relationships, creation/environment, religion, and the Arts. This definition of spirituality, even with accompanying diagrams, is far from clear and appears to accommodate almost every kind of reflection whether as retrospective or as experienced in the present. My understanding is that they see the four aspects of spirituality as different routes to spiritual experience and addressing the big questions in life concerning hope, fear, sorrow, religious faith and the meaning of human existence....
To be diagnosed with dementia is "like being blindfolded and let loose in a maze". There is no clear treatment to follow, because each case is unique. But once thickets of misunderstanding and misinformation are brushed aside, there are pathways to hope. "Secular models of support don't adequately reflect Christian values of compassion, love and service," explains Louise Morse. "Neither do they describe the power of spiritual support. This is key to the wellbeing of the caregiver, as well as the person with dementia." This book is packed with examples of what works, as well as practical advice and accessible medical information. Louise Morse is a cognitive behavioural therapist and works with a national charity whose clients include people with dementia. Her MA dissertation, based on hundreds of interviews, examined the effects on families of caring for a loved one with dementia.

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