Confusion, frustration, difficulty in thinking and speaking clearly, mood swings and loss of confidence are some of the results of dementia which can lead to isolation and fear, especially for someone who lives alone.
If there is a carer – often a spouse – they can face frustrations of their own as well; loneliness, disturbed sleep, a feeling of being trapped, and worries about the future. These problems may not be visible to an outsider, but are very real nonetheless.
The Alzheimer’s Society, one of the charities trying to help dementia patients and their families, wants to encourage ‘Dementia-Friendly Communities’ where people are more aware of such problems and better prepared to offer help and support where they can. Some professional support for dementia sufferers is available as well as that from charities, but we all ought to be ‘dementia-friendly’ and churches in particular are called to be good neighbours to those affected by dementia just as to anyone else.
How can we each at All Saints show our love and support in these situations, be good friends and neighbours, and demonstrate the value God puts on each person? How can we encourage every one, whatever their situation, to contribute to His worship and service?