Sunday, 22 September 2013

Dementia and Spirituality

Some time ago I wrote a piece on dementia and spirituality, or what I saw as the meaning of this from a service users side of things. This took me around 4 weeks to write, simply because I could not be sure, what the topic was really about, even though I had been asked to give a talk about it.



I also had problems at the time finding the right words, which did not help

Spirituality means different things to different people, but it seems that there is a lot of deep seated upset about this subject as many people think its about religion and nothing else.



I suppose to me spirituality is about religion, but as a religious person, I did not wish to push my views onto anyone else as they are personal



However after a lot of searching on the internet, followed by a lot of thinking over two days I came up with my idea which I used, and it was a big success, So much so that I was asked if people and institutions could use it for teaching.



I had never considered this, and it came as a surprise, but it was a nice surprise and an honour, being able to help.



As I said before many people had problems with the religious side of the topic, but I feel that many of these problems go back to the days when a priest would spend time doing pastoral things in his or her parish, like going to visit the sick in their homes or in hospitals.


This does not happen these days, for various reasons, and its a topic which really annoys me at times, and I guess that it's this which annoys other people, so they will not discuss religious things with anyone.



However when we look at it from a different angle, it's about what we enjoyed doing in life, and what want from life.



The things which mean so much to us, and that is what we want to carry on with for as long as we can.



To me looking back its a form of life story, or the story about the person with the illness, their like and dislikes along with the things they may well hate, its all part of lifes format, and part of our individual spirituality.



As a person who has worked on Life Story work with the Life Story Network in the UK, I soon got into this talk, and encouraged others to het involved, as it helps us to learn so much about our loved ones, and many things we knew little or nothing about sometimes come to light, and we get a good picture of who the person is and where they came from.



Of course this can also bring up things which the person does not want in the public domain, this has to be considered before anything else.


But all in all its this persons life story, and its their for their loved ones and families to read in the future as well as when they are being cared for

I have learnt a lot about this now, and after the talk which was also a huge success, I am starting to look further into the subject on good days.



I confess that I got emails from all over the world which was amazing, so many that I could not answer them all, so it proves that this subject is something dear to many hearts, and I was pleased and proud of being asked to do it in the first place.

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