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Finding Meaning in the Experience of Dementia

Finding Meaning in the Experience of Dementia

The Place of Spiritual Reminiscence Work

Elizabeth MacKinlay and Corinne Trevitt

Quick Overview

This groundbreaking book reveals the findings of the first major study on spiritual reminiscence with people with dementia. The authors present evidence for the efficacy of spiritual reminiscence with this group, and drawing on examples demonstrate its many benefits, as revealed by the study.
Details Price Qty
Paperback / softback
2012, 9.06in x 6.46in / 230mm x 164mm, 304pp
ISBN: 978-1-84905-248-1
£22.99
Ebook
2012, ePUB, 304pp
ISBN: 978-0-85700-657-8
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£22.99

Description

This groundbreaking 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. Transcripts of sessions are included throughout the book as examples, providing unprecedented insight into how people with dementia experience spiritual reminiscence, and encouraging reflective practice. The book closes with a set of suggested questions and discussion topics which can be used as the basis of a six week program.

Providing theory and the latest research as well as a wealth of practical information and examples to guide practice, this book will be of interest to dementia care practitioners and activity coordinators, pastoral carers, aged care chaplains, practical theologians, students, academics and researchers.

Reviews

'Spiritual reminiscence is a way of telling a life story with emphasis on meaning... A total of 113 older adults with dementia, living in aged-care facilities, participated in this study described in this book... the book describes, different views of ageing in our society... By examining concepts of spirituality and transcendence in later life, they explore ageing as a spiritual journey... The research described in the book has demonstrated that interaction in those with dementia are significantly increased following group work in spiritual reminiscence... Providing spiritual care is about tapping into the concept of spirituality; core meaning, deepest life meaning, hope and connectedness...The book is highly recommended for practitioners involved with people who have dementia. This valuable contribution to dementia care provided in this text should be an essential tool for chaplains, care home leaders and all the professionals who need the insights provided here to change attitudes and empower people with dementia.'
- European Journal for Person Centered healthcare (EJPCH)

'This book is not a heavy philosophical exploration of meaning, but a practical reflection on years of supporting dementia sufferers. It draws heavily on first hand encounters and much of it is dedicated to airing the voices of those who participated in the author's programme. It offers practical advice to those wishing to use spiritual reminiscence as a means of supporting sufferers, but is also a v laudable resource for those seeking references for further research into this developing area of care. The book shows that spiritual reminiscence for those beginning the frightening journey into a future shaped by dementia is a valuable tool in helping them come to terms with their fears, their future and questions of meaning... The main positive impact of this book on reading it was the reminder that dementia sufferers may loose much of their functioning abilities, but never their humanity and that the search for meaning in life is far too important a topic to be left to philosophers.'
- Nice.org

'The book provides an original and thought-provoking insight on managing dementia through spirituality and reminiscence. Whilst it rarely stipulates specific interventions and programs, it enables the reader to journey between evidence and experience, gently hypothesising and questioning fundamental approaches that may have been engrained in one's approach... This well-written book is suitable for carers, health professionals and staff working with or learning about persons with dementia. Students will also benefit greatly from this book, by engaging in a foundationally strong and evidence-based approach to caring for persons with dementia. The book is affordably priced and should attract readership both internationally and interprofessionally.'
- Australian Journal on Ageing Book prize

'The book is highly recommended for practitioners involved with people who have dementia. This valuable contribution to dementia care provided in this text should be an essential tool for chaplains, care home leaders and all the professionals who need the insights provided here to change attitudes and empower people with dementia. This paperback book for permanent study is great value for money in contrast to a very expensive training course.'
- The International Journal of Person Centered Medicine

'The writers' understanding of "spiritual reminiscence" makes a further and significant advance in person-centred care. The verbatim reports of group work on finding meaning in life will be startlingly revealing... The book sounds a clarion call to care providers to be willing to take the next step in changing the culture of care for the better... easily accessible chapters... this book goes a long way towards fulfilling the authors' objective which is, in the title of the final chapter, that of Changing Attitudes and Empowering People with Dementia.'
- plus

'This vibrant account draws us into dialogue with the lively voices of people with dementia, inviting us to make connections with their humour, their hopes and their fears. Rather than theories about dementia, the authors prompt us to engage with the person, carrying their stories. The authors take us to the heart of dementia care: our common humanity.'
- Associate Professor Rosalie Hudson, Charles Sturt University

'The authors' understanding of 'spiritual reminiscence' makes a further and significant advance in person-centred care. The verbatim reports of group work on finding meaning in life will be startlingly revealing to those who may think that people with dementia are little more than 'non-persons' incapable of any personal growth. The book sounds a clarion call to care providers to be willing to take the next step in changing the culture of care for the better. To effect this a practicable strategy and detailed programme are offered.'
- Albert Jewell, retired Methodist minister

'This book is (...) a practical reflection on years of supporting dementia sufferers... It offers practical advice to those wishing to use spiritual reminiscence as a means of supporting sufferers, but is also a valuable resource for those seeking references for further research into this developing area of care.'
- Rev Peter Davies, Hospital Chaplain

'The book provides practitioners with a thorough understanding of the theory and practice and provides many case studies to demonstrate the value of spiritual reminiscence in helping people to find meaning in the experience of dementia... This accessible guide to spiritual reminiscence work is recommended for dementia care practitioners, pastoral carers, aged care chaplains, activity coordinators and anyone else concerned with the wellbeing of people with dementia.'
- The Lamp

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