Spiritual factors in the experience of Alzheimer's disease and other Dementias

Elizabeth MacKinlay, Corinne Trevitt

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias raise important questions of personhood and connection for those affected. Finding meaning in the face of dementia is one of the most challenging aspects of dementia; spiritual reminiscence is a way of connecting with those with dementia when their cognitive decline seems to preclude them from participating in a meaningful life. In this chapter a context for spirituality in later life is given through description of the spiritual tasks and process of ageing. This leads to presentation of work based on a mixed methods study of 113 people in residential aged care with a diagnosis of dementia who participated in either six or 24 weeks of weekly sessions of guided spiritual reminiscence (MacKinlay & Trevitt, 2012). Relationship was found to be almost synonymous with meaning for these people. Other important themes identified were vulnerability and transcendence, wisdom, hope, despair, and response to meaning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychosocial studies of the individual's changing perspectives in Alzheimer's disease
EditorsMyron Orleans, Ruobing Li, Cordula Dick-Muehlke
Place of PublicationHershey, United States
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781466684799
ISBN (Print)9781466684782
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameAdvances in Psychology, Mental Health, and Behavioral Studies (APMHBS)


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