In response to a special request from Lori from MN, who took time to send me a message of encouragement, I have added word searches for Memorial Day and Independence day on our Program Resources page. Thank you Lori, for your message and for your suggestions!
As usual, these are large-print word searches, with no words in reverse. In addtion to USA holidays, there are word searches for Faith and Family, and A Spring Walk in the Park.
If you are looking for a word search on a theme or topic not included on our Program Resources page, please let me know what you are looking for by writing to me here and I will do my best to create and add a word search for the theme you are looking for.
Thank you to all who are caring for elders and for families living with dementia! You are a blessing!
I have added some new word searches to the list on our Program Resources page. These are large-print, with no words in reverse. Topics include The Month of May, Father’s Day, Scripture and Other . For easy reference, here is a list of the new files, by category.
If you are in a congregate care setting and would like to provide spiritual care to your elders, I highly recommend http://spiritualeldercare.com where Chaplain Elisa Bosley provides ready-to-use resources for Bible Studies, Worship Services, and Hymn Sings. Check out the Spiritual Eldercare YouTube channel for Videos of Worship Services, as well as Hymn Videos with Lyrics.
Lifting up continued prayer for all families living with dementia, and all living in congregate care settings.
If you are looking for some things to do at home during the pandemic, why not try some word searches?
I have added some new word searches to the list on our Program Resources page. These are large-print, with no words in reverse. Topics include Birthdays, Camping, Lent, and Easter. For easy reference, here is a list of the new files, by category.
I hope these are helpful and fun to do! Stay tuned for more word searches to come! In the meantime, I am lifting up all care partners in prayer, asking for blessings of strength, comfort, patience, grace, faith, and peace. If you have an idea for a word search topic, let me know by clicking on the “Get in touch!” below!
Many of us know families living with a dementia diagnosis. Dementia is a group of symptoms rather than a specific disease, so even though we most often hear about Alzheimer’s disease, there are actually over 150 illnesses that can cause the symptoms of dementia. There are those living with an early-onset diagnosis, but most frequently we associate dementia with older adults because the incidence of dementia increases as we get older.
Alzheimer’s disease has been referred to as “The Long Goodbye” because it’s a progressive disease which often takes many years to run its course. Currently, there is no cure. A diagnosis entails an uncertain journey that is characterized by change after change; loss after loss. In the midst of this loss, it can sometimes be difficult to remember that there is still life — life that can be lived well — for many years following diagnosis.
Each person living with a diagnosis is unique, with a unique life history, and different lifestyles or life situations. Their journey with dementia will also be unique to them. But there are also things in common:
Each person is beloved by God.
Each person is a gift in the lives of those who love and care for them.
Each person’s value is not dependent on their health.
Each person living with any illness is undiminished in the unique essence of their lived experience, and in who they were created to be.
Most of all, it’s so important to recognize that as we journey, there is still room for joy, kindness, smiles, praise, love, thanksgiving, friendship, beauty, wisdom, meaning and presence!
As we journey, there is still room for joy, kindness, smiles, praise, love, thanksgiving, friendship, beauty, wisdom, meaning and presence!
It’s clear that the effects of a diagnosis are far-reaching, impacting family members, friends, and whole communities surrounding the person experiencing the effects of the disease first-hand. It changes relationships in ways that can be difficult to navigate. Family care partners take on unfamiliar roles, and often feel alone and isolated in their journey as they are constantly called upon to adapt.
In this blog, I hope to open a conversation about how churches can seek faithful ways to respond to the needs of families living with dementia. In particular, I hope to offer information and resources to assist churches with providing a structured fellowship program tailored to the needs of people living with a dementia diagnosis. In providing fellowship and meeting the need for social contact, we can also enable care partners to take some personal time for self-care. We are friends and neighbours, and we have the ability to help, especially in the earlier stages when fear of stigma can cause withdrawal into isolation.
Let’s open a conversation about how churches can seek faithful ways to respond to the needs of families living with dementia.
In the coming weeks and months, we will talk more about ways that churches are really well-suited to hosting respite programs. We’ll also look at some of the more practical elements of getting started, such as establishing communication with the families you hope to serve, and providing for safety considerations.
If you are interested in starting a program, please connect with me and let me know what questions you have.
Come with me as we explore ways that faith communities can walk “Side by Side” with families facing the challenges of living with dementia!!
Alice was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, and has called St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Calgary her church home for as long as she can remember. She has served as the Side by Side Program Coordinator at St. Andrew’s since early in 2013, and is continually amazed by, and grateful for, the loving hearts, willing hands, and the thoughtful, caring kindness she encounters every week at the St. Andrew’s Side by Side program.
God is weaving a tapestry of care that connects all of us in Grace. Come. Be part of it.