Podcast – Things Unseen
Updated: Sep 10, 2019
Since recording an interview on ageing for this podcast, the Revd Dr Margaret Goodall, who has extensive experience of teaching people about the spirituality of dementia, has herself retired from her role as Chaplaincy Development Manager with Methodist Homes (MHA) and I hope she's enjoying the abundant life!
The podcast by Remona Aly, which I've recently reminded myself of and found so poignant, also features academic Dr Peter Kevern explaining how his own mother's dementia has raised profound theological and philosophical questions for him.
Asked what people with dementia can bring us, Dr Kevern, Professor of Values in Health and Social Care at Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, explained:
'We’re more than just our minds and what we can do in the world… more than our performance in the world…There’s more going on in human being than moving fast in a fast-moving world… that actually stopping and being still and not communicating so quickly… and taking time over things, perhaps doing the same thing over and over again… Perhaps these are great things that make us more human.'
Stripping away the junk
'Although people’s experience of dementia… can be very variable, we have so many stories of people who, when they could no longer speak or do things for others, they could still somehow radiate such compassion, and gentleness and concern, that they could be a healing presence, even though to all intents and purposes there was very little left that they could be doing and that should be reminding us of what "human" can be when we strip away all the junk that we pile on ourselves in order to live our sort-of normal 20th-century, 21st-century, lives.'
These valuable interviews, on a subject many shy away from, include a contribution from Akhlak Rauf, from social services initiative Meri Yaadain ('My Memories') in Bradford, which takes a particular interest in the needs of Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs with dementia and their families.