September 6, 2022

The importance of Spiritual Care for people with Dementia

Health care is not just caring for people’s physical needs. Spiritual care is a way of helping older people in their search for hope and meaning, especially as they face issues of grief, loss and uncertainty. Depression in older people, especially those in aged care facilities, is one aspect of loss of meaning and hope. The search for meaning in later life becomes more real for many older people, and this search is essentially a spiritual search, with questions of meaning, transcendence and hope becoming important. Older people often need support and spiritual care that will include journeying with them in their search for meaning and grappling with the issues that arise when life itself seems threatened. Using spiritual reminiscence is one way of offering this care.

To help address the needs for our ageing population, especially those that are living with dementia, Lifebuoy Video worked closely over a 2 year period with Professor Elizabeth MacKinlay from the Centre for Religion, Ethics and Society and co author of the groundbreaking book, Facilitating Spiritual Reminiscence for People with Dementia: A Learning Guide. Professor McKinley has been hoping to support her learnings with a series of videos that both educate and enlighten facilitators about the program as well as shine a light on her groundbreaking discoveries born from her work in Spiritual Reminiscence. We were privileged to spend 3 days at a Nursing home in Canberra, filming facilitators and participants involved in the program. With the help of these videos, produced by Lifebuoy Video, it is hoped more people working in aged care will see the logic in implementing this program into their programs. Watch the full program in our Health & Wellness section on the home page.