This online toolkit is not just about facts and figures, but how to accompany those whose lives have been touched by dementia in their spiritual journey – how to understand and nurture the God-given ‘ME’, and so enable us to deepen the practice of our faith. We use the phrase ‘those whose lives have been touched by dementia’ deliberately, to include the person with dementia, loved ones, friends, and the wider community. This is in contrast to the expression ‘dementia sufferers’ and ‘carers’ – which tends to divide those involved into the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’, more than conveying the equality and reciprocity that are features of good human relationships.

Course Curriculum

  • 1

    Introduction – ‘See ME rather than dementia’

    • ‘See ME rather than dementia’

    • The person is always more important than the condition

    • Focus on ‘spiritual accompaniment’.

    • Content of the toolkit

    • How to use this toolkit?

  • 2

    Living With Dementia

    • Introduction

    • I am still the same person I have always been

    • I need to care and have a role.

    • I need to maintain and develop my mental functioning

    • I need to be an equal partner.

    • Advice for care givers

    • Alzheimers Scotland

    • Questions for the Church Community

  • 3

    Spiritual Elements of Dementia

    • 'Its still ME Lord'- Spiritual and Theological Perspectives

    • The Silent Grace of Dementia - Fr Daniel O'Leary

    • The work of the Carer: Re-menting, Re-minding, Re-membering

    • The work of the Carer: Re-menting, Re-minding, Re-membering Continued

    • How does faith help us?

    • How does faith helps us? Part 2

    • Our ministry with people whose lives are touched by dementia

    • A word for relatives and care givers

    • Questions to address as a Church Community

    • A prayer for those whose lives have been touched by dementia

  • 4

    I need you to minister me

    • Introduction - I need you to minister me

    • Befriending and acting as a gentle and supportive presence

    • Eucharistic Ministry – some issues to consider:

    • Accompanying family, friends, and loved ones

    • Working with Cultural Issues

    • Leading prayers or a service in a care setting

    • Understanding my spiritual story

    • Assessment and Care Planning

    • Key Points to Remember on Communication

    • Some questions to address for parish practice

  • 5

    Spiritual Accompaniment in End of Life care

    • The end of life in dementia

    • A focus on Personhood

    • Being the ‘Other’ in Spiritual Accompaniment

    • Understanding my spiritual story

    • The Power of Presence

    • As the last days and hours approach...

    • Physical Surroundings

    • The significance of rituals

    • Saying our farewells

    • Being present to loved ones

    • Summary

    • Further Reading

  • 6

    ‘No decision about me without me’

    • What will we cover?

    • Consent and Decision Making

    • How do you find out if someone has the capacity to make a decision?

    • Capacity Assessment

    • Best Interest

    • Planning Ahead

    • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)

    • Protection of DoLS

  • 7

    Resources and information on appropriate services.

    • Spirituality and Dementia toolkit: Resources

About the instructor

Ben Bano

Ben Bano, M.Sc (Oxon), CQSW, DMS, LTh, PGCert, has been a social worker for 38 years and was Director of Older Peoples services in East Kent Mental Health Partnership Trust from 2002 to 2005. In 2007 he founded Telos Training and he has delivered a range of training workshops across a range of subjects in mental health care and dementia across the statutory and non-statutory sector. Ben’s interests include social inclusion, the spiritual and the holistic dimension in mental health and dementia care. Ben is delivering awareness courses in dementia as well as programmes on Assessment Practice and Dementia for Approved Mental Health Professionals as well as a programme 'See ME rather than dementia' for NHS staff in five South London Boroughs. He is a regular contributor to AMHP refresher programmes.