Alzheimer's: Spirituality can be comforting

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Alzheimer's: Spirituality can be comforting

Alzheimer's steals recent memories, but spirituality and religious rituals still provide comfort.

For someone with Alzheimer's, spirituality, faith and religious rituals can be important for overall well-being. If you're a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer's disease, helping your loved one continue to observe his or her faith can be beneficial and rewarding for both of you.

Sharing a connection

One of the most difficult aspects of living with someone with Alzheimer's disease is that the disease robs your loved one of the ability to recognize and interact with once-familiar people. Someone with Alzheimer's may be unable to discuss current events or recent family happenings. Even a game of cards may be a difficult undertaking.

This makes it hard to spend time together because there are few activities you both can enjoy. Repeating a well-known prayer with you and with others may be one of the few sharing rituals in which your loved one with Alzheimer's can fully participate.

Religious services

Bringing someone with Alzheimer's to religious services isn't always easy because he or she may be disruptive. Some places of worship, however, have special rooms designed for parents to take noisy children. These areas could also be used for someone with Alzheimer's.

If that's not an option, an early morning service may have fewer people in attendance. You could also go to church or temple between regular services and simply pray together. It may be possible, as well, to get other families who have loved ones with Alzheimer's to gather at the same time every week to worship together.

Last Updated: 09/17/2007
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