Bringing the divine into dementia
It is most encouraging to see the attractive advert for a seminar on supporting dementia sufferers in the last issue of HEART.
As a voluntary helper in day care dementia centres and Hospital Chaplain in Sussex for a number of years, I have seen that dementia is an awful malady and causes much distress to both sufferer and one’s family. I appeal to everyone where possible to help, using whatever talents they have at their disposal.
In my experience a fresh approach is called for: eg a more robust enquiry into the natural intelligence of the body and the healing properties contained in human cells and dare I say it, a serious consideration of the divine presence of God within the individual, which forms a huge part of the healing process.
Awareness is something the person with dementia has enormous problems with. However, awareness can be a tool for recovery from illness, while not interfering, adversely, with on-going contemporary medical programmes.
By thinking of God or a higher intelligence (whatever name you wish to give the Deity) and spiritual values, the structures of the brain that control our memory, moods and reshapes our conscious notions of self and our sensory perceptions of the environment, do respond to stimulation, especially when harnessing long-term memory. Gathered together, time spent in spiritual practices strengthens the neurological circuit that issues forth peacefulness, awareness, compassion and can enhance cognition, communication and creativity; minimising unfortunate hostile behaviour. These findings should aid those involved in planning health-care education, physical and mental well-being, particularly with dementia sufferers.
Rev Dr William Doyle, FRSPH
Topics that need to be discussed!
How do YOU feel about some of our Persecution Watch stories? One minister’s wife removed the last issue from her church porch because she felt that the story about a husband’s suicide after the rape of his wife and daughter was not the kind of thing people should focus on as such things happen all the time.
A Christian couple visiting Windrush Holidays at Bracklesham were given a copy of the paper by hosts Andy and Margaret Stevens and said, after reading the paper, “HEART was horrible reading!…But it got us on our knees praying!”