“How do we respond when members of our congregation are diagnosed with dementia?”
That’s the difficult question that TOGETHER author Barbara J. Newman tackles in a new guide from Friendship Ministries. Using her own experiences with including persons with dementia in a small group, Barbara explains practical ways to adapt TOGETHER curriculum for this audience.
Persons with dementia, just like persons with physical or intellectual disability, may pose a unique challenge for the church. It is difficult to know how to help people of all abilities feel included and loved without a little bit of training and the right tools in hand.
“So often family members and caregivers watch as the church community falls away from supporting and including people with dementia,” says Barbara. “Years of relationship are often tossed by the wayside as congregation members no longer know how to interact with a friend, leader, mentor, or loved member of the community as they begin to display behaviors that seem so out of character.”
The TOGETHER curriculum provides numerous ways to include friends with disability in a small group, using tools like videos, dramas, songs, and sign language to adapt a meaningful message for all audiences. Now, Barbara helps us take this resource one step further to minister with persons who have dementia.
We invite you to utilize her resource “12 Helpful Tips to Adapt TOGETHER for Persons with Dementia.” If you have questions or comments, or would like to share your own experience using TOGETHER, you can always reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.