When we try to attend Church, it seems something ALWAYS goes wrong!”
When caring for someone with dementia, isolation develops as an increasing challenge for family caregivers. Many caregivers feel cut off from places of comfort and community, such as attending church. A number of frustrating and embarrassing mishaps can await most caregivers and their loved ones, so the seclusion increases.
Yet, pushing back against that isolation benefits not only the caregiver, but the loved one with dementia as well. Churches and places of worship provide great comfort, strength, and community to a family living with a member suffering from dementia. Attending those places for a long as possible helps both the caregiver and the loved one with dementia. While caregivers valiantly try, it takes a bit more than effort to make it a positive experience for the caregiver and loved one. It takes a bit of planning and communication.
“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” Romans 15:7
Dementia Care expert, Tracey Maxfield, RN, serves as a regular contributor to our radio show for caregivers. She recently provided several tips when taking a loved one with dementia out in public—and specifically to church.
With a little planning and upfront communication with church leaders, Tracey shares that a trip to a house of worship becomes a meaningful experience instead of an ordeal.
A few of Tracey’s tips:
- Before leaving the house, make sure you have an ID bracelet for your loved one. If you don’t want to do a bracelet, print off cards with the patient’s name, a contact number, as well as an address. In addition, it’s advisable to add, “I suffer from dementia, please stay with me until we find my caregiver.”
- Take along a bag with water, a snack, and clean clothes.
- Be last in and first out.
“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” Luke 14:13-14
About Peter Rosenberger
A thirty-year caregiver for his wife, Gracie, who lives with severe disabilities, Peter Rosenberger understands the journey of a caregiver as few do. His experience led to him to author four books including Hope for the Caregiver, and 7 Caregiver Landmines and How You Can Avoid Them.
A 2nd Dan (degree) black-belt in Hapkido, Peter is also an accomplished pianist. He recently released his new CD, Songs for the Caregiver.
Peter and Gracie live in Nashville, TN, where he also serves and the president and co-founder of Standing With Hope.