Helping Faith Communities (churches, synagogues, temples, organizations) become engaged in ministering to families with Alzheimer's or other dementia.
We seek to find a way that connects the spirit of each Alzheimer's patient with their spirituality and to offer the caregiver support and encouragement.
The Faith Committee Vision: That all people with memory loss and their caregivers will continue their spiritual journey with the love and support of their faith community.
Ministering To Families With Dementia
The person with dementia and their caregiver(s) often become isolated when they aren't able to attend their faith community due to the dementia-related changes.
Isolation could be eased if you offer emotional support and encouragement through phone calls or home visits.
You could help by offering specific ways that you can assist the family, such as shopping, giving the caregiver a break, yardwork, etc.
Depression and loneliness can be lessened by you listening to concerns and frustrations (of both the person with dementia and the caregiver).
Resources And Education
The Coalition will provide resources and dementia education to your Faith Community about:
- Brain changes
- Physiological changes
- Changes in abilities
- Ways to communicate and interact effectively
- Ways to minister to your families with dementia
- Coalition members will provide this education at your Faith location.
Learn about Alzheimer's and other dementias:
- Brain changes
- Physiological changes (eyesight, etc.)
- Behavior changes (inability to communicate effectively, etc.)
- Learn ways to meet the person with dementia "where they are" in their reality (helps eliminate arguments and frustrations)
Books About Alzheimer’s Disease And Faith
- "A Guide to the Spiritual Dimension of Care for People with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia: More than Body, Brain and Breath" by Shamy, Eileen
- "You Are One of Us: Successful Clergy/Church Connections to Alzheimer's Families" by Gwyther, Lisa
- "A Guide to Ministering to Alzheimer's Patients and Their Families" by Otwell, Pat
- "God Never Forgets: Faith, Hope and Alzheimer's Disease" by McKim, Donald
- "The Unbroken Circle: A Toolkit for Congregations Around Illness, End of Life and Grief" by Brooks, James L.