What do dementia friendly churches look like?
- Inclusive of family and carers
- Having dementia ambassadors
- Draw on the reality of people’s lived experience
- Acknowledge dementia touches every family’s life
- Provide information and education on the condition
- Offer signposting to support, practical help, navigation for the ‘system’
- Give people a voice, those with dementia as well as those who care for them
- Celebrate the potential for creativity dementia can unlock, for music, art, poetry, etc
- Listen to those affected
- Offer low-threshold activities (activities that can be engaged with on a wide range of levels)
What do we need in order to be dementia friendly churches?
- to learn from our own experience and that of others
- a place to share this information
- a sense of this being a necessity as part of our responsibility to ‘care for our own’ as well as ‘others’
- knowledge in how to manage the risks for everyone involved
- to know the local provision and picture
- to make relationships with local authorities
- We need to know how to care not just for those affected today but also for those affected tomorrow – it could be you … it could be me.
- Dementia has had little attention in the past; things are changing … will the church rise to the challenge?