“Dementia affects more than 342,000 Australians - and many other people besides — their loved ones, their friends, and their carers. So what happens to people when they lose a sense of their selves? Can anything be done to help them reconnect with things that matter to them, like spirituality?
Dr John Swinton is one of the world's leading thinkers on this subject, what's called 'disability theology'. His practice stems from the belief that even though it may look to us like our loved one has gone, they haven't gone — the self is still there, it's just the expression of it that's changed. He says disability theology helps us to see properly what it means to be a human being, and that to be human is much more interesting and complicated than the simplistic way that culture tells us it should be.
Dr John Swinton is Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care in the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen. He's the author of several books on dementia and theology, including 'Dementia: Living in the Memories of God', and he was in Australia recently as part of his new position with the independent Christian charity HammondCare, who he's helping to develop new practice in theology and spirituality for people living with dementia…”
Podcast here (ABC Local, Sunday Nights). Aired 12th July 2015.