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When Words Fail

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Kathy Fogg Berry: Practical Ministry to People with Dementia and Their Caregivers

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When Words Fail
Practical Ministry to People with Dementia and Their Caregivers
(Kregel, 2018)

WHO: Kathy Fogg Berry, who ministers to residents living with dementia at Westminster Canterbury Richmond in Richmond, Virginia, and serves as a trainer for the Alzheimer’s Association.

SHE SAYS: “Although memories are gradually lost for people living with dementia, people are never lost to the memory of God. Nor should they be lost to their faith communities.”

THE BIG IDEA: Information, tools and practical helps to equip ministry leaders to address and care for the spiritual needs of those living with dementia diseases.

THE PROGRESSION:
Using a pastoral tone, the author lays out the state of the church relating to caregivers and dementia patients. She shares how having the right resources can eliminate the helpless feeling many people have in speaking with this group.
She offers a clinical description of what dementia and dementia-related diseases are. Then she carefully documents the symptoms of each stage of dementia. She also provides examples and case studies to help readers identify what type of dementia a person has and what stage they are in.
The book follows through with suggestions on what to say, how to care for the caregiver and what a church-wide response would look like.

“There are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease today … and many of these men and women are vital parts of our congregations and church communities. They need to be reminded of their importance to God and to us. They need to be reminded of God’s presence and unconditional love.”

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