Caring for the elderly
Christian charity Pilgrim Homes is compiling a resource pack to help people dealing with and caring for those suffering from dementia.
Called Helping to put the pieces together, the dementia resources pack was created after the charity conducted wide-ranging surveys of individuals and churches about their understanding of the issue, as well as how they have dealt with dementia.
Dementia affects far more people than previously thought: some 820,000 in the UK alone. Within a few short years it will impact every family in the country. One in three people will find themselves with a relative or friend suffering from dementia – or become a sufferer themselves.
Among them will be a large number of older Christians, as research shows that ‘people with a faith, who regularly go to a place of worship’ live longer than others.
Opinions are divided as to prevention, and there is no cure in sight. But evidence is emerging that a Christian lifestyle, with its supportive network, may help counter dementia’s onset. The Christian community has the opportunity to come alongside those impacted by this much stigmatised affliction.
When Pilgrim Homes surveyed churches about its forthcoming dementia resources pack, it received a tremendous response. One church leader noted: ‘We have a large number of care homes in our parish, and many residents are in different stages of dementia’.
‘Until there is a cure the emphasis will be on care’, says author Louise Morse in her latest book Dementia: Frank and Linda’s Story – New understanding, new approaches, new hope. Within the narrative she weaves practical and spiritual advice for sufferers and caregivers.
The dementia resources pack will be available in the summer, but people who would like to be involved in the survey can request a questionnaire from Pilgrim Homes at [email protected]