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Keywords:

  • narratives;
  • dementia;
  • nursing care;
  • carers;
  • episodes of lucidity;
  • testimony

Episodes of lucidity in people with severe dementia as narrated by formal carers¶ Twenty formal carers employed in three nursing homes narrated 92 episodes of lucidity (ELs) in people with severe dementia. Sixty-two episodes concerned speech, nine concerned actions and 21 episodes concerned both speech and actions. Most ELs were said to occur spontaneously when the patients were acting closely together with a carer who did not make demands on them and regarded them as valuable human beings whose behaviour was a meaningful expression of their experiences. The narrations showed characteristics that indicated trustworthiness and the episodes described in three separate nursing homes were very similar and resembled descriptions given in previous research reports as well as in relatives’ reports. Further research seems necessary and the assumption that severe dementia implies the destruction of the self or personhood must be questioned.