Online Zoom Forum: Dementia: Spiritual, Social, and Policy Perspectives.

Date Wednesday 20 April 2022.
Time: 7pm-9pm (UK time).
Event Description: This Online Zoom Forum will discuss Dementia: Spiritual, Social, and Policy Perspectives.


Format: There will be five talks, each of 10 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of discussion among the speakers and the chair, followed by Q & A.


Chair: Croilán Greta Pattison MBACP (Snr Accred) has been working as a psychotherapist, bodywork therapist, trainer and yoga teacher for over 25 years. Her early career was in contemporary dance performing and teaching. In her journey of personal healing and search for understanding of holistic health, she has engaged in 25 years Shamanic experiencing, including Dzogchen (Tibetan Buddhism), Atman teachings (Hinduism/Yoga Philosophy) and has latterly found roots in Celtic Consciousness. She is an Initiate of Brigid of Ireland and Guardian of the Teachings from the Cauldron of Brigid. Croilan is known for her sincerity, warmth and dedication to healing and consciousness.


Speaker: Gayle Henry.

Title: Person-centred Care and the Role of Spirituality.

Description: In dementia care it is important to be holistic in your approach, the person should be at the centre of all out interactions and care planning. People who care for someone with dementia need to understand the individuals lifestory which includes their social, medical and spiritual preferences and beliefs. When teaching about dementia we advocate strongly for this as it can provide clues into behaviour and promote quality of life, additionally as we utilise the Kitwood model of positive personhood spirituality, and an awareness of the individual’s beliefs can provide feelings comfort, attachment and love. When someone with dementia has the inability to communicate in the usual way to ask or express their emotional needs, we need to be able to provide this and understand what it means to the person. This is especially true at the end of life as the existential influences are as important as any medical or caring intervention we can impart to make this transition as good as possible.

Bio: Gayle has been a Registered Adult Nurse since 2000 with experience working in care homes and community palliative care both in Scotland and Australia. She has taught undergraduate nursing students at Wollongong University, Australia, while also participating in a research project relating to recognising end of life for dementia patients (REACH out in Dementia). While Project Liaison Officer for REACH out in Dementia, Gayle had work published and went on to develop a care plan, subsequently utilised by several aged care organisations in Australia (NSW and ACT). It was while working on the REACH project in Australia that Gayle developed an interest in end of life care for people with dementia.

She was also a Clinical Nurse Educator for community nurses in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven (NSW) then an Education Manager for an aged care organisation (Warrigal covering NSW and ACT) before returning to work in Scotland in 2014. Upon returning to Scotland, Gayle has been employed as a Care Home Liaison Nurse in East Dunbartonshire and more recently as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner for Care Homes, having undertaken further study to achieve this.

Speaker: Maureen O'Neill.

Title: Spiritual Care is Everyone's Business.

Description: A focus on why a better understanding of spiritual care is essential for those providing health and social care and in building resilience for those providing care to better enable policy into practice.

Bio: Maureen O'Neill has been the Director of Faith in Older People since 2007. Previously she was the Director of Age Concern Scotland (now AGE Scotland) and has been involved in the voluntary sector in Scotland since 1980 both as a staff member and a trustee. She is currently a Trustee for Voluntary Health Scotland, Scottish Partnership on Palliative Care, a Day Centre, and the Royal Society for the Support of Women in Scotland. Current priorities in FiOP are spiritual care education, supporting faith communities in relation to dementia, bereavement and loss, and mental health.

Speaker: Dr Martha Pollard.

Title: Freedom and Caring in Pandemic-affected Dementia Care.

Description: The practical and emotional impacts for individuals, families and carers affected by dementia, in responding to laws and restrictions to freedom that were enacted in the COVID-19 pandemic, have been widely varied and often distressing. In my PhD research, I am exploring with carers their ideas about, and experiences of, freedom and restrictions in pandemic-affected dementia care. I discuss my emerging findings with reference to social models including liberation theology.

Bio: Dr Martha Pollard is currently a part-time PhD student at the University of Edinburgh and is a qualified counsellor (MBACP) and accredited counselling skills trainer. She is based at the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre and works with the Edinburgh Centre for Research on the Experience of Dementia. Her PhD supervision team includes academics from medicine (psychiatry), social science and theology.   

Speaker: Helen Scott.

Title: Dementia, Dying and Spirituality: a Carer’s Perspective.

Description: When my mother who lived with dementia experienced three bereavements of close family members her condition began to deteriorate rapidly. Therefore, my husband and I decided that we would move in with her so that we could support her. In this session I will talk about how I perceived the effects of dementia impacted on my mother’s spirituality and spiritual needs, as well as my own. By spiritual needs I am referring to a sense of purpose and belonging in life, being able to love and receive love, understanding the significance of life and having a good death.

Bio: Helen is an Independent Nurse Lecturer specialising in palliative and end-of-life care and dementia. She is currently an Associate Lecturer for St Christopher’s Hospice, London. She previously worked at the Hospice as a Palliative Care Nurse Lecturer, a Practice Development Clinical Nurse Specialist for Care Homes, and as an inpatient ward nurse. Helen was also Editor of the End of Life Journal and British Journal of Nursing and Managing Editor of International Journal of Palliative Nursing. She has a BA(Hons) in Drama from The University of Manchester and an MSc in Palliative Care from the Cicely Saunders Institute, King’s College London. She is co-founder of a theatre-in-education group ‘Stories That Speak’, which provides communication skills training for people working in palliative, end-of-life and dementia care, through the use of drama and narratives.

Speaker: Doug Sloan.

Title: Implementation Gaps in Dementia Policy: Societal and Ethical Implications.

Description: In Scotland, legislation designed to support people living with dementia and unpaid carers is considered by many as world-leading. And yet, statistics and anecdotal accounts suggest that individuals from both groups are not consistently receiving the support that they are legally entitled to. In this talk, I’ll give my current impressions on the most serious implementation gaps related to dementia policy. I’ll also discuss what the implications of these types of gaps could be on our wider trust in government, and our faith in others more broadly, if they are ignored and maintained.

Bio: Doug currently works as a Policy Officer with About Dementia, a policy and practice forum hosted by Age Scotland. Doug has previously worked as a Researcher at the Scottish Parliament and the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) Scotland.


NB: There will be no refund if you cancel your booking.


Dementia: Spiritual, Social, and Policy Perspectives

Cost: By Donation. For a Registration Form:
Contact: Neill Walker, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

(for late inquiries on the day, then email, do not phone.

If you book on the day of the event you will be emailed the Zoom sign-in details 1-2 hours before the event).

Social Bookmarks

Bookmark This Page