'We have friendship of a church family to offer in every one of our places of faith- please share it with everyone including our older friends and neighbours'

Dementia Awareness

There are currently around 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, and this number is set to rise significantly over the next 30 years.

While dementia symptoms can affect thinking, communicating, and memory, each person’s experience of dementia will be slightly different. Most people will have specific needs due to their condition.

Loneliness is a big issue within our society- one often exacerbated for people with dementia and their carers. Churches and faith-based organisations have an important role to play in ensuring people living with dementia can continue to live their lives and be an active part of their communities for as long as possible.

Some of our members may develop dementia or be caring for someone who does. By being more dementia friendly, you can help and support them to continue practising their faith. We can ensure our staff and worshippers are more aware of dementia, helping to reduce stigma and encourage them to access support services or receive a diagnosis.

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Equipping Churches

Physical Accessibility

There are some quite small changes that can have a major impact on improving accessibility for people with dementia in our Churches.

Do you have a quiet space for someone who might be feeling anxious or confused? A few minutes with a supportive person might be all that’s needed to continue the transaction.

Signage can also make a positive impact on accessibility. Dementia Friendly Churches UK have a helpful guide which can be found here.

Spiritual Accessibility

However, there are other things that need to be considered for an accessible service, for example low attention span, short term memory loss, and difficulty processing lengthy verbal communication.

Methodist Homes (MHA) has produced a number of resources around supporting people with dementia to know they are 'held by God' and experience life in all its fullness. Their guide to 'Growing a Dementia Friendly Church' can be found in our resources section. This sits within a broader spectrum of support including Visiting People with Dementia, Worship with People with Dementia, and Spiritual Care with People with Dementia, accessed via their website here.

Workshop Content

Transforming Notts Together offers a free Dementia Awareness workshop, which is an opportunity to get together in groups and discuss the effects and outcomes of living with dementia. It is also part of the journey a church can go on to become a 'Dementia friendly church'.

It includes information and discussion about:

  • Dementia and Isolation
  • How a Place of Faith Can Help
  • Networking with Dementia Friendly Churches

Please contact Paul Howard for more information.

Older woman smiling into camera

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