By Eileen Shamy

ISBN-10: 0585471061

ISBN-13: 9780585471068

ISBN-10: 1843101297

ISBN-13: 9781843101291

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Additional resources for A Guide to the Spiritual Dimension of Care for People With Alzheimer s Disease and Related Dementia: More Than Body, Brain, and Breath

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Churches must reconsider the spiritual issues and priorities of the new conditions of longer life. (Paul and Paul 1994) THROUGH A DOOR OF HOPE 29 Why are so few doing this? Is it because in our hearts we believe that young people are of greater value than older ones? And if the Church’s response to old people in general is so negative, what chance do old dementing people have? Is it that ‘music’ again which lulls us into apathy, insensitivity and prejudice? The Music of technology and pharmacology As early as 1976 Ivan Illich warned that the ‘medicalisation’ of health care in the United States of America with the consequent neglect of the spiritual dimension was causing enormous increases in costs with no accompanying gain in society’s health.

My mother, for instance, died from a stroke in her eighty-sixth year. ), she could not have survived alone because she would not have remembered to eat and drink or to exercise caution with electricity or fire or other matters of day-to-day living. Those, like Robert Davis (1989), who was in his early fifties at the onset of his illness, tend to suffer a much faster rate of the disease’s progression and consequent deterioration. In older people this stage may last from one to three years. In this time there is gross destruction of all intellectual capacities, complete or near-complete loss of insight and recognition of self, as well as physical wasting, with consequent weakness.

While progress through each of these three stages is gradual and remorseless in its destruction, a surprising number of ‘islands’ of relatively normal activity will be noted by the observant care giver until late in the process. We do not know just which functions may remain intact or for how long. Personal characteristics and history will mean that each person will be different. It is very important that care givers know this and understand that recognition of these ‘islands’ of abilities and their encouragement is crucial to making the most of them, no matter how small.

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A Guide to the Spiritual Dimension of Care for People With Alzheimer s Disease and Related Dementia: More Than Body, Brain, and Breath by Eileen Shamy


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