Building dementia-friendly faith communities: how faith groups are supporting people living with dementia, their families and their carers
This booklet is a collection of case studies that illustrate how faith communities from different traditions help support people living with dementia and their carers; and how they can also help to prevent dementia from developing in the first place. Faith communities can offer spiritual and emotional support for individuals affected by dementia; practical support, including activities and services, opportunities for social interactions and support with day-to-day living, such as transport and help with taking medication correctly; and a dementia-friendly faith-community within the wider community and a supportive network of motivated people and resources. In addition, faith groups can play an important role in prevention, and in helping people with the things that will reduce their risk of developing dementia. They can do this by helping people to keep mentally active – through opportunities for social engagement, such as meeting others and volunteering; through stimulating their brains through activities such as reading; and through helping people to keep learning new things. Faith groups can also help people adopt and follow a healthier lifestyle, through stopping smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, and encouraging physical activity and healthy eating. The report makes a number of suggestions on what the health and care system should know about engaging with faith communities. This includes: finding out whom to engage within the community; making links with institutions that train faith leaders; and considering the need for different approaches in different communities.