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We are thrilled to announce a Whitley College research project is the recipient of one of four funding grants provided through the University of Divinity’s Extraordinary Large Grant Scheme. Led by Principal René Erwich and Director of Research Dr Darrell Jackson, in collaboration with Assoc Professor Eleanor Flynn (YTU) and Research Support Officer Titus Olorunnisola, the project aspires to create an evidence-based (re)design of resources that equip friends and families to offer spiritual care to persons living with dementia.
Australia and the UK are contexts where the spiritual care of persons living with dementia reflects individualist assumptions. With the increasing numbers of persons living with dementia from non-European backgrounds, age-care providers are having to reconceive patterns of spiritual care by locating spiritual care within a nexus of relationships that existed prior to the person developing dementia. Our meta-analysis of the existing research literature suggests that this aspect of the provision of spiritual care to persons living with dementia is under-researched.
Our project will reduce the anxiety levels and increase the confidence of families and friends offering spiritual care to people living with dementia. Our research will contribute to the evidence-based growing appreciation that spiritual care is better offered through a network of individuals who know the person living with dementia.
Several industry partnerships and academic advisors, both in Australian and the UK, will contribute to the research project, including Meaningful Ageing Australia (MAA), Methodist Homes UK (MHA, UK) and Northern Baptist College (Manchester, UK).