For Dementia Action Week, Livability – the disability charity that connects people with their communities – have launched a new resource to support people living with dementia capture and celebrate their faith journey.
Called ‘My Faith Matters’ the resource enables people to record memories and information that has been important to them in their spiritual journey, so that these can be shared with their family, friends, support networks and faith communities.
Designed to be completed together and with the person living with dementia, the resource contains a simple template and helpful guidelines to support the person living with dementia to record what really adds up for them in their spirituality.
Alzheimer’s Society suggests there will be one million people in the UK living with dementia by 2025, with a possible increase to two million by 2050. Ensuring that churches are more aware and equipped to respond to people living with dementia and their carers, both within the church family as well as in the community is vital.
Charlotte Overton Hart, Community Engagement Associate from Livability says: ‘Too often in our society, someone’s diagnosis can mean that the people start to talk about them in the past tense. This can be an incredibly isolating and lonely experience for both the person living with dementia and their family.’
‘At Livability, we want to support people living with dementia to maintain, explore and reconnect with the aspects of their faith that matter most. We know that someone’s spiritual journey is core to what it means to be human. So celebrating and recording that is such an important thing to do.’
Corin Pilling, Livability’s Assistant Director of Community Engagement at Livability says: ‘Churches have a vital role to play in being dementia inclusive. So often at the heart of a community, churches provide an important touch point and connector for people living with dementia. We hope that this resource will provide a really practical way for individuals and groups to provide more support in their context. But more than this – we hope the resource is used in a wide variety of contexts.’
Emily Kenward, founder of ‘Time to Talk Befriending’ will be sharing the resource in her network and says: ‘The need to honour the wishes and feelings of the older people we support is integral to our ethos, so this resource is a great way to enable us to ask questions about what is important to every individual – not just those living with dementia.’
‘In addition to sharing the resource with our members, I foresee this resource being shared with professionals and families. In our experience not everyone finds it comfortable talking about ‘spiritual well-being’ so this tool is ideal for exploring what is genuinely brings meaning to people’s lives. We can’t wait to use the resource in practice!’
[thrive_link color=’orange’ link=’https://www.livability.org.uk/myfaithmatters/’ target=’_self’ size=’big’ align=’full’]Get your free copy of My Faith Matters here[/thrive_link]