‘In many ways the deepest revelation of the Alzheimer journey is that it is a kind of passage from the mind into the heart.’
Frena Gray Davidson
There is a growing movement to raise the level of understanding of dementia within all of our churches. At Methodist Homes (MHA), we have the privilege of supporting and caring for large numbers of older people living with dementia and we have found they have a lot to teach us. As part of our witness to this teaching, we have been working with the Christian Council on Ageing (CCOA) to produce a practical resource that will help grow dementia-friendly churches and this is now available at http://www.mha.org.uk/about-mha/publications/ . We are also delighted to be working in partnership with Methodist Women in Britain (MWiB) to help make our churches more dementia-friendly and more inclusive.
This year’s Methodist Homes Sunday Service theme “…In the Moment” focused on those ‘magic moments’ when something or someone ‘touches’ us. This is particularly important for someone living with dementia and for the individual who meets them. In a touching poem, a family member has recalled her late mother’s move into Davids House in Harrow:
“It’s these moments that I cling to bringing hope within my heart
Like a blessed beam of happiness throwing the dementia into dark”
Thank you to all the ministers, local preachers and worship leaders who used our worship resources and held services, raising awareness and funds. If your church didn’t, then it’s not too late. Please ring 01332 296200 and ask for Lesley France or email .
We celebrate next year’s Methodist Homes Sunday on 14th June 2015.
Thank you to everyone who joined BBC Songs of Praise presenter and MHA Patron, Pam Rhodes, to support MHA’s Music Therapy Appeal on Radio 4 this year. Pam said, “Music seems to unlock not just the memory, but also the personality. Sometimes when people have dementia, those signs of personality seem to have disappeared in the frail frame we can see, but the precious person inside is still there and MHA recognises this.” It is thanks to the generosity of our supporters that we can offer this free therapy to our residents.
MHA are hosting the “Where Is My Older Neighbour” conference in London on 9th October, to explore ways we can ensure our church communities work for today’s and tomorrow’s older people. We are also planning our annual Gift of Thankfulness Service on Sunday 2nd November at the Church of Christ The Cornerstone, Milton Keynes. For booking details, visit www.mha.org.uk.
Lord of time and space,
of eternity and each moment,
we pray for the on-going work of Methodist Homes.
May the gifts we offer encourage the skills of care and compassion
which demonstrate the values of respect and dignity,
and embody our belief that each person is of worth
and every moment precious.
For you assure us that your love is everlasting
and promise that you will be with us to the end of the age.