Where is God when dementia sneaks into our house? Practical theology and the partners of dementia patients

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dc.contributor.author Bons-Storm, Maria
dc.date.accessioned 2016-06-15T06:05:41Z
dc.date.available 2016-06-15T06:05:41Z
dc.date.issued 2016-05-31
dc.description.abstract How can hope, love and faith stay alive when dementia enters a home? In this article I shall look especially at the spouse or partner who shares an abode with a person with dementia. Most of the authors in this field, also John Swinton who is perhaps the best known author whose books are written from a (practical) theological perspective, focus on care in institutions, that means care by professionals. A partner living with a dementia patient has two main roles: as partner and caregiver. Night and day a partner is witness to the ongoing deterioration of her or his beloved partner, without being a professional. This article is founded not only on literature about dementia patients, but also on the experiences of several partners, as well as my own experiences as a partner. The question we all ask is: ‘From where does our strength come?’ I argue that what is said in the literature on the subject of (the pastoral care for) dementia patients does not help the partners, because it lays a heavy burden on them, who are already suffering from feelings of grief and guilt. I do not agree with John Swinton’s idea that God created dementia. Looking for different ways of thinking about God and faith to survive with hope and love, I turn to the exegesis of the creation stories by Ellen van Wolde. These give the opportunity to take the evil of the situation of the deterioration of the personality of a patient with dementia seriously, and at the same time grant the possibility to turn the grief and guilt feelings into strength to fight evil, together with a God whose empathy and love stays with a partner in her or his loneliness and grief. en_ZA
dc.description.department Practical Theology en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2016 en_ZA
dc.description.uri http://www.hts.org.za en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Bons-Storm, M., 2016, ‘Where is God when dementia sneaks into our house? Practical theology and the partners of dementia patients’, HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 72(4), a3227. http://dx.DOI. org/ 10.4102/hts.v72i4.3227. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 0259-9422 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 2072-8050 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.4102/hts.v72i4.3227
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/53222
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher OpenJournals Publishing en_ZA
dc.rights © 2016. The Authors. Licensee: AOSIS. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License. en_ZA
dc.subject Dementia en_ZA
dc.subject Partner en_ZA
dc.subject Patient en_ZA
dc.subject God en_ZA
dc.title Where is God when dementia sneaks into our house? Practical theology and the partners of dementia patients en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA


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