The onset of dementia can bring new depths of appreciation for the hope that Christmas represents. Light shines in the darkness, God is with us and everyone from uneducated Shepherds to the wisest of men are invited to come and adore Him.
Here are 5 super simple ways to make sure people with dementia feel as welcome in your church as they would have in the stable:
1. Reserve some seats at the ends of rows/pews so that people with dementia can sit somewhere they can get out easily if they need to stretch their legs or visit the bathrooms.
2. Have your welcome team/stewards/sides people poised and ready to offer a big welcome to people with dementia, letting them know where toilets etc are and what the order of events is. Perhaps you could get them to visit this website before hand to improve their awareness.
3. Include a participatory, creative prayer in your service to give people with dementia an opportunity to pray in a different way (lots of people with benefit from this, not just people with dementia).
4. Include a mixture of contemporary and traditional prayers, songs and liturgy. People with dementia will benefit from familiarity but like most of us do, also like to experience new things!
5. If you have words projected onto a screen, also have a printed format available for people whose eyesight may not enable them to read projected words.
We hope and pray that this Christmas the people with dementia in your congregations will know the glad tidings of comfort and joy that only the birth of Jesus can bring.
For more advice and resources for faith organisation, you can visit this page of our website.