In this podcast, I join Christine Thelker, author of For This I Am Grateful, who herself lives with vascular dementia and cerebrovascular disease, along with podcast hosts Lisa Loiselle and Rev. Faye Forbes.
If you know me, you know I could talk all day about spiritual care for people with dementia, and it was a particular joy to chat about this topic with these fine ladies.
A few highlights:
Christine: “We have too many empty souls walking around this world right now, whether that’s dementia or anything else … and no one tries to reach them. We strip them of that whole piece of their soul that’s so vital. … The spiritual piece should be the foundation of how the rest of care comes about. And then I think you will see a total difference of what’s going on in long-term care.”
Lisa: “When I think about health workers in long-term care, having them provide or assisting in that spiritual care in some way: that [would] only enhance their own joy! Imagine them being happy during the day and how much that lifts them and then how much more they can lift the people that they’re caring for.”
Christine: “I just talked to someone the other day about that very side of things. She said, ‘It’s a horrible place to work; none of the residents are happy, they haven’t been for years; none of the workers [are happy], everybody hates going to work.’ So if people are starting their day being miserable about being there, how can they provide any quality to the life of the person they’re looking after? We need to change that whole piece, and [to start it from] that spiritual foundation, with the education and tools and understanding.”
Faye: “It’s all about relationship between the staff and the client, and [between] staff and staff. And it doesn’t matter what [job a person has] in that place of work …. [It’s about building] that relationship with each other, knowing what makes them happy, making them feel appreciated and loved.”
Peace be with you,