‘Granny’s body remains, but she was gone’. The public narrative around dementia often presumes that as our ability to talk, move and think gradually withers away, so does our personhood and sense of self. But if we believe as Christians that our humanity and identity is inextricably bound up in our physical flesh and bones, how should we approach the heart-breaking challenge of caring for someone declining into dementia? In this episode we speak with trainee vicar and theologian Jess Wyatt about her research into embodiment, personhood and dementia, and think through different ways to care for and attend to those suffering from this increasingly prevalent disease.
Some useful links on dementia:
The Alzheimer’s Society www.alzheimers.org.uk
Dementia UK www.dementiauk.org/
’Dementia: Living in the memories of God’ by John Swinton
‘Thinking of You: A Resource for the Spiritual Care of People with Dementia’ by Joanna Collicutt
‘Finding Grace in the Face of Dementia’ by John Dunlop