Our first workshop, on 18th March, took us right back to the basics of understanding and relating to those living with dementia. ‘They are persons,’ said Dr Stephen Critchlow, ’looking for a sense of attachment, belonging and identity.’
‘Realise the importance of feelings, and keep on visiting,’ said Sarah, reflecting on her experience of caring for her grandmother. We heard how churches and other community groups have a vital role in providing love, friendship and support.
The other basic is the need to go on supporting the caregivers. Some of those attending the workshop faced significant challenges in this role. The Q&A session brought out some of those challenges, along with practical suggestions for communication. We also learned about local and national support organisations.
A lot is being done but there is still so much more that is needed. We didn’t even begin to address the challenges of the last 18 months, in which so many have been abandoned in loneliness.
We have had more workshops since March,with over 150 taking part. They aim to provide
- helpful information about dementia
- practical examples of how to respond
- reflections on what the Gospel tells us and how churches can contribute
If you would be interested in holding a session, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
From these workshops has come a group which has begun to meet monthly, to share ways of giving support and encourage churches in their distinctive contribution. We are learning from what others are already doing and hoping to build on that. Contact us for more information.