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The Leveson Centre for the study of Ageing, Spirituality and Social Policy

Alone with Dementia

Margaret Jeremiah Available from Ithaca, Boat Dyke Road, Upton, Norwich, NR13 6BL with a donation of at least 50p to cover the costs of postage and packing.

This book written by Margaret Jeremiah has been published with the assistance of a grant from Millennium Awards. In the Foreword Professor John Wattis (a member of the CCOA Dementia Group) writes:

The area of spirituality and dementia is currently enjoying a great deal of interest. The Christian Council on Ageing has a Dementia Group that has been working for ten years to raise awareness of the spiritual needs of people with dementia. It has taken a broad approach, recognising that people express and satisfy spirituality in different ways. For some people formal religion is the key. Others take a more humanistic approach, concentrating on the importance of interpersonal relationships as mediators of meaning. Quakers testify to 'that of God in everyone' and in some ways bridge the gap between the more formal religious expression and those who would do without God altogether.

The account you will read here comes from a Quaker perspective. It is a moving personal account, from the perspective of a loving partner taking on the role of 'carer', of the unfolding of a dementing illness, complicated by poor sight. It shows many of the triumphs and failures of current services. If you are reading this as a family member or friend of someone with dementia, it may help you feel less alone. If you are reading it as a professional provider of services, I hope it will move you to redouble efforts to provide services that are sensitive to the human needs of both people with dementia and their friends and families. If you are reading this as a commissioner of services or as somebody with political 'clout', I hope you will consider how you can ensure fair priority to improving services for people with dementia and their families.

Professor John Wattis

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