"I Am Just an Ordinary Person..." Spiritual Reminiscence in Older People with Memory Loss

Corinne Trevitt, Elizabeth MacKinlay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


One of the greatest challenges to people diagnosed with dementia is their search for meaning leading to the development of effective coping strategies as their memory loss and confusion progresses. The challenge for carers is to learn ways of entering the world of people who have difficulties communicating and have behaviour problems, assisting them to communicate more effectively by responding to their interests and needs, and listening to their emotions expressed in various ways. Strategies are being developed for supporting and affirming personhood in those people who are often isolated and withdrawn from even their closest friends and relatives. Spiritual reminiscence work is one way of helping older people with memory loss find meaning in their lives as they cope with the day to day difficulties of memory loss and prepare for death. This paper will present the results from indepth interviews from 16 participants in a larger study exploring memory loss and spiritual reminiscence. Themes arising from the data analysis revolve around notions of relationships, loneliness, family and attendance at worship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-91
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Religion, Spirituality and Aging
Issue number2/3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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