Faith Explorers Recent Topics

10 Aug 2015: Dementia and Memory led by Noel

Noel challenged the group with 4 introductory questions

  1. How would you like to be treated if you develop dementia at sometime in your life? Responses: Compassion, stay (& die) at home, balance stay at home with pressure on family, have a source of ‘happy pills’ to reduce my worry, anxiousness.
  2. What would you like to say to your family? Responses: Clear the garage, decide what to do with my ashes, don’t let me become a burden.
  3. How would you like to be remembered? Responses: as I was before dementia.
  4. What type(s) of songs would you like to be listening to everyday? Responses: Basically one’s from earlier times of our lives.

The common reaction to dementia is fear but with cancer its concern. We compared John Locke’s definition of ‘What is a Person’ that could imply that someone without memory becomes a non-person (a dangerous line of argument); we preferred John Swinton’s as it is more relational. These also touch on Martin Buber’s ‘I – It, I – Thou’ philosophy

We watched part of the movie “Alive Inside” by Michael Rossato-Bennett (2014). This shows the remarkable positive impact that familiar music can have on dementia sufferers. The music seems to stimulate the whole brain; the memories are not lost – they are still there (in the brain); the interaction with the music seems to recreate the pathways to recall! Seems to be more beneficial than drugs so massive resistance from vested interests against providing personal music players.