Spirituality and Personhood in Dementia
Release Date:01 May 2011

Spirituality and Personhood in Dementia

Edited by Albert Jewell
Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Positive shifts in attitudes mean that emphasis is now being placed on the person with dementia and their personal relationships, rather than the illness. There is also growing recognition of the significance of a person's spiritual life in forming an essential basis for their sense of identity, and in providing them with a resource for coping.

Offering an inter-disciplinary approach to spirituality and personhood in dementia care, the contributors to this book are leading practitioners and researchers in the field. They provide both a theoretical structure and a practical understanding of the essential role that spirituality can play in the affirmation of personhood and identity, and of ways in which the spiritual well-being of people with dementia can be nurtured. This thought-provoking book includes chapters approaching the subject from Christian and Buddhist perspectives, discussion of inter-faith relations, and of what spirituality might mean for those not part of any faith tradition.

This will be valuable reading for nurses, care workers, care commissioners and pastoral support professionals interested in a more holistic and contemplative approach to caring for people with dementia.

RELATED TOPICS: Health & Well-Being
Generally we don't pay sufficient attention to the spiritual life of care home residents. It is noticeable that homes that have a strong religious and/or spiritual belief or culture often provide residents with great support and purpose. This book has eighteen varied chapters all of which will get you thinking and will help you to develop the important spiritual element of care work.

– Caring Times

Spirituality & Personhood in Dementia confronts the central issue of dementia: the change in personhood experienced by those suffering from its conditions and by those who live with them or care for them, and what we can do about it. Every chapter in this book offers hope: not of a cure, but of human coping with conditions which seem to take away everything we understand as human... It is a book packed with intelligent commentary and fascinating practice; it has the poetry of life stories and personal encounters, the prose of academic reflection and debate on issues most avoid but again and again, a simple message: the person with dementia is still a person, not a relic from the past but living now.

– plus (Quarterly Magazine of Christian Council on Ageing)

Although there are many contributors to this text, there is a consistent harmony running through the chapters. The emphasis on relationships, personhood, and quality of care, the fear of dementia and the faith which sustains people living with dementia are beautifully illustrated... Everyone involved with persons with dementia will find this book an invaluable tool in understanding and meeting the needs of the people about whom they are concerned.

– International Journal of Person Centered Medicine

Spirituality is seen as no longer the exclusive right of those with recognised religious belief systems. In many ways this is a considerable move forward.

A key theme in the book is not to speculate or judge people in terms of stereotypes. I recommend this book to nurses, carers and managers looking for a more holistic and contemplative approach to care.

– Nursing Standards

This book would be useful for any individual interested in the topics it covers, due to the varying backgrounds of people writing the chapters.

– Signpost

Spirituality and Personhood in Dementia... is a superb collection of 18 wide-ranging and sometimes very challenging essays on dementia from which eventually some 30% of us will suffer. Although in some ways a specialist book, it would benefit any pastor.

– Ministry Today UK

Each reader will benefit differently from the various chapters according to their present needs for understanding: every chapter has something to offer... There is much in this book to make one reconsider deep-rooted prejudiced thinking about dementia.

– Journal of Ageing & Society

Doctor Jewell's introductory chapter is a master-class in how to introduce such a collection. Not for him a tedious listing of who will say what, why and how. He has messages to convey and does so in a structure of his own design, decorated and informed by reference to the chapters which will follow and to the wider world of literature... There are eighteen essays, each with an individual author. All but three come from the UK. Dr Jewell's first compilation was ground breaking and can be seen to have been a major influence releasing the subsequent publication of many books and learned papers on the subject of spirituality, religion and late life and its associated pathologies. Thinking, speaking and writing on these subjects now has the benefit of all that has been said between times. The current collection includes many cross-references to colleagues contributing to this and other publications, often from the supportive Jessica Kingsley stable... This is a valuable collection of essays. It will become a favourite resource for teaching in lay and professional circles.

– Dementia UK

...an informative and stimulating collection of essays that will enable any reader to be better informed about dementia.

– Modern Believing - The Journal of Liberal Journal

...both of these books (Spirituality and Personhood in Dementia by Albert Jewell and Palliative Care, Ageing and Spirituality by Elizabeth Mackinlay), (...) are infused with glimpse of grace and courage, can inspire the reader to give thanks and cherish all that is good, and to live life as fully as we are able, even in the midst of frailty.

– The Way

Aspies on Mental Health" brings together a collection of 17 personal accounts which highlight these frustrations, including difficulties in gaining an appropriate diagnosis, lack of available post-diagnostic support, reactions from society, as well as coming to some sort of personal understanding of their diagnosis... the book offers important advice for the autism community, health professionals and families. The voice of those with Asperger's Syndrome is of paramount importance in influencing policy and practice and this book provides a great step in opening up that debate.

– Joanna Griffin, Chartered Counselling Psychologist

Albert Jewell is a retired but still active Methodist minister. He served as pastoral director with MHA Care Group from 1994 to 2001, where he co-ordinated the work of the Sir Halley Stewart Age Awareness Project. He is currently Vice-Chair of the Christian Council on Ageing and the secretary of its Dementia Group. He has led seminars and spoken at local, national and international conferences and he is the editor of Spirituality and Ageing and Ageing, Spirituality and Well-being, also available from Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Preface. 1. Introduction, Albert Jewell, retired Methodist minister, former Pastoral Director, MHA Care Group, Derby, UK. 2. Maintaining a Sense of Personhood in Dementia: A Personal View, Daphne Wallace, retired Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist. 3. A Carer's Perspective, Marianne Talbot, Director of Studies in Philosophy, Oxford University, UK. 4. Walking With a Person into Dementia: Creating Care Together, Elizabeth MacKinlay, Anglican priest and Director of the Centre for Ageing and Pastoral Studies, St Mark's National Theological Centre, Canberra, Australia, and Professor in the School of Theology, Charles Sturt University, Australia. 5. Becoming a Friend of Time: A Consideration of How we May Approach Persons with Dementia through Spiritual Sharing in the Moment, John Killick, Poet and Writer in Residence for Alzheimer Scotland. 6. To Live and Do and Help: A Life That's Worthwhile - Reflections on the Spiritual Meaning of Generosity for People Living with Dementia, Padmaprabha Dalby, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, UK. 7. Voicing the Spiritual: Working with People with Dementia, Harriet Mowat, Managing Director, Mowat Research Ltd, Aberdeen, Scotland. 8. New Directions in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Older People with Dementia and Depression, Paul Green, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, Yorkshire, UK. 9. Gathering and Growing Gifts through Creative Expression and Playfulness, Susan McFadden, Professor of Psychology, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, USA. 10. The Holistic Care of Older People in Care Homes, Gaynor Hammond, Baptist Minister and Dementia Project Worker, Leeds, UK. 11. Making the Journey Together: Palliative Care of Persons with Dementia, Wendy Shiels, Dementia and Palliative Care Coordinator, Melbourne, Australia. 12. Loving Attention: Chaplaincy as a Model of Spiritual Care for those with Dementia, Margaret Goodall, Methodist minister and Chaplaincy Advisor for MHA Care Group, UK. 13. Resilience Promotion and its Relevance to the Personhood Needs of People with Dementia and Other Brain Damage, Murray Lloyd, retired geriatrician. 14. Sounding the Depths: A Reflection on the Challenge to Religious Belief and Practice, Brian Allen, Chaplaincy Team Leader, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust. 15. 'They Maintained the Fabric of this World': Spirituality and the Non-religious, Malcolm Goldsmith, retired Church of England Minister. 16. Being in the Moment: Developing a Contemplative Approach to Spiritual Care with People who have Dementia, John Swinton, Church of Scotland Minister and Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care, School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, King's College, University of Aberdeen, UK. 17. Personhood, Personalism and Dementia: A Journey of Becoming, Clive Baldwin, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, University of Bradford, UK. 18. A Situated Embodied View of the Person with Dementia: Where does the Spiritual Come in?, Julian C. Hughes, Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry, North Tyneside General Hospital, UK. References. Index.
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