Faith and Dementia

Snyder, L. (2003). Satisfactions and challenges in spiritual faith and practice for persons with dementia. Dementia, 2(3), 299-313

Often times when people address people with dementia for Alzheimer’s and faith it is often focused on the caregivers and their needs. Those with dementia are often not within the church they are most likely in homes. As a program centered in health and healing this article was informative in that it showed the relevance of the place of faith for people with dementia. The articles which relied on a qualitative approach examined the experiences of those with dementia and the role that faith played in their life. The author’s demonstrated the importance of faith in the lives of a diverse group of individuals who suffered from dementia. This article can serve as further evidence of the importance of faith and healing specific to dementia, which is on of our research focus. The authors acknowledge that the information from the article is subjective and as a result would be hard to generalize these particular 24 individuals into larger groups and
populations. As such the validity of the research is limited; however, it provides a good starting point for our research, which is a larger quantitative study. In this way, these studies with limited scope can serve to validate to our funders the need for more research in this area.

Garrison, B. V. (2021). Transforming the narrative of aging and dementia in faith communities: toward a new paradigm of inclusion. Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging, 33(4)

In this article the authors point to the place of the church as a relevant space to aid those with dementia. They point to the isolation and the shame that come with this disease and the community of the church that can counter both of the these stigmas and bring hope. The article posits that it is lack of education and coordination of groups to welcome these
segments of the population into their communities that must be overcome. It would seem that this is a modus operandi of most churches, people join when they are young and working, and their health and participation is welcomed and valued. When these people retire, the church is no longer seeking after this group for their participation. They know they are
probably home alone, or in a facility, but the church is not focused on those who sustained them yesterday they are focused on today and the needed funds and volunteers required to keep the church vital. While the authors seem to believe that education and knowledge about the needs of the elderly and those with dementia are requisite, it seems that a more
sustained effort is key. This article can help to provide the relevance of our program with a mobile ministry to visit those with needs to conduct their tests to see what their needs are faith wise and to support them.

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