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Building Dementia Friendly Church: Livability and the Alzheimer’s Society publish new guidelines for church and faith communities

May 19 2016

Livability and Alzheimer’s Society are delighted to announce the publication of this new resource to support those living with dementia. Created through the partnership of two national charities, Livability and Alzheimer’s Society, Developing a Dementia-Friendly Church is a practical and much-needed guide for churches and faith communities. Informed by churches from across denominations, this resource is part of an ongoing commitment by both organisations to make our communities more inclusive to those living with dementia, their carers and families.

Dementia is one of the greatest challenges facing our ageing society. There are 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK now and by 2025 there will be over one million. For those living with dementia and their carers, this disease can be extremely demanding, physically, emotionally and spiritually – a real test of love and faith. Properly equipped, churches and other faith communities can offer a welcoming, inclusive and safe place. Developing a Dementia-Friendly Church describes what dementia is, its impact and explores the ways in which churches can offer support. It is suitable not only for faith communities who are considering becoming dementia friendly, but also those who have already embarked upon this course.

Published to coincide with Dementia Awareness Week, this comprehensive resource has been informed by consultations and focus groups with church leaders and congregations. Following the guidance offered here, churches can offer a lifeline to those living with dementia and help them to stay connected to their spiritual and community life.

About the partnership


Livability is a major provider of disability services, partnering with churches and other local agencies in the delivery of care throughout the UK. They have mobilised the UK church to recognise the contributions and needs of disabled and disadvantaged people, to build towards inclusive and accessible communities. They recently created ‘Churches Inc’ a disability and accessibility charter for churches. They deliver training on shaping Dementia Friendly churches. More recently, they have raised understanding for mental health issues within the church through their partnerships with Mind and Soul and Greenbelt – the national arts and faith festival.

The Alzheimer’s Society are the UK’s leading dementia support and research charity for anyone affected by any form of dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They provide information and practical and emotional support to help people live well with dementia, and invest in world-class research with the ultimate goal of defeating it. Alzheimer’s Society also campaigns to improve public understanding of dementia and the devastating impact it can have, and make sure it’s taken seriously and acted on by our governments.

Revd Dr David Primrose, Director of Transforming Communities, Diocese of Lichfield, said:
We want churches to be at the heart of dementia-friendly communities, where the voices of those living with dementia, and those who care for them, are clearly heard. This publication adds much practical guidance on developing dementia-friendly churches, drawn from national expertise and local experience.

David Richardson, Dementia Co-ordinator, Churches Together in Cumbria, said:
I welcome the publication of this Alzheimer’s Society/Livability guide. It provides a wealth of information about dementia, and gives clear, specific and practical guidance as to how a local church can truly become dementia friendly. It stresses the need to engage with people with dementia and their carers and encourages partnership with others in the community. The guide is an antidote to despair and a spur to action. I commend it to you.

How to get this resource:

Developing a Dementia-Friendly Church is available free of charge.

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