An initiative of the Massachusetts Councils on Aging

Faith Communities

by | Jun 4, 2019

Faith can provide meaning, belonging, and comfort to a spiritual person.  Religious practices can offer a moment of familiarity and stability for someone with memory loss. Beliefs may sustain a sense of personhood and hope in the challenging experience of living with dementia.

People with dementia may withdraw from participating in faith practices.  Isolation is a common concern for people with dementia as they recognize that their decline has affected their ability to engage in regular activities.  Encouraging community members to invite or help transport the individual may increase the chance of them attending. Offering family worship at home: providing recordings or readings, is an option for those not inclined to participate in public services.

Community, including places of worship, is integral in an adult’s support network.  Members of the faith community can offer to assist with chores to lessen the responsibilities demanded of caregivers.  In a service, volunteers can sit with the individual with dementia to orient them and help with religious rituals.

Presenting programs such as community arts and crafts activities, support groups, education sessions, or hosting events like Memory Sunday can achieve many goals.   Preaching or organizing educational events about dementia will raise awareness about the disease and daily struggles one experiences.  Offering support groups or memory cafes for the public are outreach opportunities to invite people to your community.

Dementia Friendly Faith Community Checklist

Dementia Friendly America Faith Community Resources

Dementia Friendly America Faith Communities Sector Video

Dementia Friendly America Community Faith Resources

DF America Sector Guide- Faith Communities

Faith Community Resources

Act on Alzheimer_s- Dementia Friendly Faith Community

Aging Well in Wales- Dementia Friendly Church (UK)

Alzheimer’s Association MA- How To Become a Dementia Friendly Faith Community

Alzheimer_s Association- Spirituality and Dementia Resource List

Brain Health Center for African Americans- The Book of Alzheimer’s for African American Congregations

Dementia-Friendly Faith Village Worship Services to Support African American Families (Article, 2019)

Faith Action- Building Dementia-Friendly Faith Communities (UK)

Making Judaism Accessible to Those Affected by Dementia (Article, 2017)

Share the Care Faith Communities

The United Methodist Church Discipleship Ministries- Dementia Friendly Church

Us Against Alzheimer’s

Memory Sunday

Brain Health Center for African Americans- Memory Sunday

Brain Health Center for African Americans- The Book of Alzheimer_s For African American Congregations

Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center- Memory Sunday 2018

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