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Facilitating Spiritual Reminiscence for People with Dementia

Facilitating Spiritual Reminiscence for People with Dementia

A Learning Guide

Elizabeth MacKinlay and Corinne Trevitt

Quick Overview

This practical guide teaches carers how to facilitate engaging spiritual reminiscence sessions with people with dementia. Carers will learn about the many benefits of spiritual reminiscence, and develop the skills, confidence and communication techniques needed to support people with dementia in this activity.
Details Price Qty
Paperback / softback
2015, 10.87in x 8.50in / 276mm x 216mm, 112pp
ISBN: 978-1-84905-573-4

Out of stock

2015, ePUB, 88pp
ISBN: 978-1-78450-018-4
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Spiritual reminiscence is a way of communicating that acknowledges the person as a spiritual being and seeks to engage the person in a more meaningful and personal way. This practical guide teaches carers how to facilitate engaging and stimulating spiritual reminiscence sessions with older people, and particularly with people with dementia.

After reading the guide, carers will understand the many and varied benefits of spiritual reminiscence, and will have developed the skills, confidence and communication techniques needed to support people with dementia in this activity. The authors present in accessible terms the evidence-base to support the benefits of the approach and provide clear, step-by-step instructions for facilitating spiritual reminiscence sessions, including useful suggestions for ideas and questions to stimulate discussion.

Intended to be used either as a self-learning tool or as the basis for staff training sessions, this will be a valuable resource for staff in care homes and day centres, activity coordinators, pastoral and spiritual care professionals, clergy and spiritual leaders.


'We are the stories we tell and the stories that others tell about us. One of the great fears that surrounds dementia is that in forgetting our stories we somehow forget ourselves. This of course is not the case. God holds our stories even when we no longer can. But it does, at times, feel as if our stories are somehow slipping away. MacKinlay and Trevitt recognise that this is not the case. In this engaging and deeply practical book, they seek to explore creative ways in which the stories of people with dementia can be discovered and narrated well even in the midst of very difficult circumstances. This is a wonderful resource.'
- Rev. Professor John Swinton, Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care, King’s College, University of Aberdeen

'This practical follow-up to the authors' earlier work on finding meaning in dementia through spiritual reminiscence is most welcome. It encourages small group leaders to develop and employ the requisite empathetic and communication skills and offers a course based on six topics that have proved fruitful in helping those attending to feel that they have really been listened to.'
- Revd Dr Albert Jewell, editor of Spirituality and Personhood in Dementia and of the Christian Council on Ageing's Dementia Newsletter, Visiting Research Fellow at Glyndwyr University

'This helpful handbook shows that spirituality is not the province of experts. Carers can ask: 'who is this person?' Step by step strategies prompt discussion of grief, guilt, fears, regrets, joys; also uncovering the dreaded issues of death and dying. The author's central message is that symbols may be more important than words and engaging with life's meaning better than medication.'
- Rosalie Hudson, Associate Professor (honorary), School of Nursing, University of Melbourne and Adjunct Associate Professor, Charles Sturt University

'An outstanding book that demonstrates spiritual reminiscence can be highly successful in giving meaning, hope and perspective to people living with dementia in ways not traditionally thought possible. This is an invaluable resource for facilitators, providing guidance for each session. It challenges the facilitator to explore their own spirituality to ensure they are able to journey with others.'
- Elizabeth Pringle, former General Manager Operations Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (AACQA), and consultant, Improvement Matters