CSAN have partnered with Welcome me as I am, to produce an online toolkit on spirituality and dementia.
Since the film ‘It’s still ME Lord’ was published in 2009, there has been a growing level of interest in the ‘spiritual self’ as dementia advances and how our Church Communities can nurture the spiritual and religious needs of all those whose lives have been touched by dementia. In these last few years there has been a much greater level of awareness of the impact of dementia and on the need to create and develop ‘dementia friendly’ Church Communities.
In this toolkit, we are concerned not just about facts and figures, but how to accompany those whose lives have been touched by dementia in their spiritual journey – how to understand and nurture the God given ‘ME’ and so enable us to take a full part in practising our Faith, often at a much deeper level. We use the phrase ‘those whose lives have been touched by dementia’ deliberately to include the person with dementia as well as their loved ones and friends – and indeed the wider community. This is in contrast to the expression ‘dementia sufferers’ and ‘carers’ – which tends to divide those involved into the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ rather than implying the equality and reciprocity which is and should be present in any human relationship.
Who is the Toolkit for?
- Clergy & Deacons
- Parish Pastoral Workers
- Members of the SVP
- Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist
- Carers/Family Members
- Those whose lives are touched by dementia
Content of the Toolkit:
- ‘Dementia – a Spiritual and Theological Perspective’ – Theological and spiritual issues in understanding and working with dementia and how these link to a positive and person-centred approach to dementia.
- Living well with dementia – keeping physically and mentally active, post-diagnostic support and accessing appropriate services. Making our church dementia friendly and ensuring that our liturgies are understandable and accessible.
- ‘I need you to minister to me’ – Pastoral support for all those whose lives is touched by dementia including carers and families. Communication skills and forming relationships as dementia advances. Outreach to residential and nursing homes. Life Story work from a spiritual perspective. This module will be particularly relevant for Pastoral Workers, Volunteers, Ministers of the Eucharist as well as Clergy and Deacons.
- ‘The Power of Presence’ – Spiritual accompaniment at the end of life – providing a spiritual dimension to end of life care. Communicating when the power of speech has been lost. Ensuring that spiritual needs are understood and met at the end of life. Listening to and supporting families, friends and loved ones.
- ‘No decision about me without me’ Some legal perspectives covering the Mental Capacity Act and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards to consider further in our pastoral work.
- Resources and information on appropriate services. What is needed for our Church to become a ‘dementia friendly’ Church Community.
To access this free resource, sign up here.