The charity Embracing Age has worked hard to find the best way for churches to reach out to people in their community affected by dementia – whether carers or those living with the disease. The result: a new free four-part course.
‘Many people are affected by dementia, not just those living with the disease, but also the loved ones who are providing informal care. They are their “keepers of dignity and personhood”. How can we best support them?’, they ask.
‘Churches have a unique opportunity and a distinctive contribution. This free short course is intended to equip churches to support caregivers and to enable them to build their own support teams.’
There are four sessions with videos and discussion questions, with a summary of the video material for reference.
The material is freely available. It can be used by individuals but will be most effective in a group which can provide encouragement and plan how best to work together with caregivers in building their own support teams.
The sessions explore opportunities for churches to serve both their own members and their local communities. They also show how the gospel provides motivation and a framework for serving those living with dementia and those who care for them.
‘I am delighted to see this much-needed course for churches,’ says Julia Burton-Jones, training and development lead for Anna Chaplaincy at BRF.
‘The course was piloted within local Anna Chaplaincy settings, and we know it will be invaluable in informing Anna Chaplains and their teams, pastoral care teams, and the wider church family as they seek to support the growing army of individuals caring for friends and family members with dementia.’
The material has been produced by Robin Thomson and Tina English, with input from caregivers, doctors and church leaders.