21 Aug 2023 - by Liz Jakimow
‘Spiritual Reminiscence’ workshop helps carers learn to enrich lives of people with dementia
Professional carers will be offered a new tool to help nurture a sense of meaning in those living with dementia over a two-day workshop exploring Spiritual Reminiscence.
The unique event will be held by the Centre for Ageing and Pastoral Studies (CAPS) in the Charles Sturt University Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture for nurses, chaplains, pastoral carers and other aged care workers on Thursday 21 and Friday 22 September.
Attendees will learn about the technique of Spiritual Reminiscence from leaders in the field, including Professor Elizabeth MacKinlay, AM, Director of CAPS and both a registered nurse and a priest in the Anglican Church of Australia, as well as Elizabeth Pringle, Managing Director of Improvement Matters.
Professor Elizabeth MacKinlay said the workshop will teach participants practical skills for engaging with people with dementia on a more meaningful way.
“Dementia is a complex condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide, impacting their cognitive abilities, but too often we only look at the cognitive dysfunction, and not the capacities they retain.” Professor MacKinlay said.
“One of the biggest challenges for people living with dementia is trying to find meaning in the midst of this condition, and Spiritual Reminiscence is a powerful means of helping them to connect with their life’s meaning.
“By engaging in storytelling and Spiritual Reminiscence, we honour the unique lives and experiences of those with dementia, helping them find meaning in the midst of cognitive change, and focussing on abilities and hope, rather than decline and despair.”
Professor MacKinlay said the benefits of Spiritual Reminiscence are extensive, enhancing a person’s overall wellbeing significantly and helping them top connect with others.
“The technique encourages storytelling to assist those with dementia in rediscovering significant moments and relationships, and increases self-esteem by reaffirming their identities and dignity outside of the diagnosis,” she said.
“It also improves communication and creates a space for individuals with dementia to connect with others who share similar experiences.
“These shared connections can provide solace and validation, as well as build friendships and a real sense of community.”
The workshops will run from 9am to 4pm on both days, held in the Chambers Pavilion at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture in Barton, ACT.
Tickets are now discounted, down to $1600 for corporate groups, $900 for individuals and $450 for concessions, with training videos also available for purchase at $200.
Limited spaces are available with registration essential, via this link.