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Finding Meaning in the Experience of Dementia: The Place of Spiritual Reminiscence Work

by Elizabeth MacKinlay and Corinne Trevitt Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Pub Date:
Pbk 304 pages
AU$55.99 NZ$57.39
Product Status: Available in Approx 7 days
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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 involved recording, transcribing and analysing sessions with many hundreds of individuals, and 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 promotion of autonomy, 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.

Preface. Acknowledgements. Part I: Building the Evidence for Spiritual Reminiscence: Research and Theory. 1. An Introduction to Spiritual Reminiscence. 2. Current Understandings of Dementia and Implications for Care. 3. Investigating Spiritual Reminiscence. Part II: Listening to Those with Dementia: The Findings. 4. Autonomy and the Older Person with Dementia. 5. Resilience and Transcendence. 6. 'You've Got to Laugh!' 7. Wisdom and Insight. 8. People with Dementia in Multicultural Settings. 9. Hope and Despair Among Those with Dementia. 10. Grief is Part of Life. 11. A Theology of Dementia - Elizabeth MacKinlay. Part III: Practice of Spiritual Reminiscence. 12. Maximising Effective Communication. 13. Making Connections. 14. Ritual, Symbol and Liturgy. 15. Designing a Program for Finding Meaning and People with Dementia. 16. Changing Attitudes and Empowering People with Dementia. Appendix I: Group Topics for Spiritual Reminiscence. Appendix II: Mini Mental State Examination Scores for Participants. References. Index

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.
Elizabeth MacKinlay is a registered nurse and an Anglican priest. She is Director of the Centre for Ageing and Pastoral Studies at St Mark's National Theological Centre, Canberra, and a Professor in the School of Theology, Charles Sturt University. Elizabeth was Chair of the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing in 2008 and is the ACT Senior Australian of the Year for 2009.

Corinne Trevitt is a registered nurse and Academic Associate Centre for Ageing and Pastoral Studies in the School of Theology, Charles Sturt University, Australia. Corinne has worked in Australia and the United Kingdom and has a background in nursing, research and teaching with an emphasis on issues of ageing. Corinne has published in the areas of spirituality for older adults with dementia and clinical teaching strategies.