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Worshipping with Dementia; Meditations, Scriptures, and prayers for sufferers and carers,

Edited by Louise Morse.
Published by Monarch Books, Oxford, UK and Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA 2010.
RRP $19.99

Reviewed by Ann Hewson who has worked as a Chaplain in Aged Care for over five years.

This book begins by providing some background comments regarding dementia and the pain it can bring to both the individuals who suffer with this disease and their carers.

These comments set the scene for the devotions and also encourage carers and others who support persons with dementia to keep reminding the sufferer of God’s love.

These initial comments are then followed by a section of around 50 devotions.

These devotions begin with a bible reading, followed by a short reflection on the reading, a brief prayer and a suggested hymn.

They provide a whole package for worship and do so in a structured and simple – not simplistic way. They include a wide range of ideas and themes.

The devotions vary with some seeming to relate better to those in a residential aged care setting.

Others are perhaps more suited to those whose cognitive level is a little better and therefore may still be living in the community.

All the devotions are a meaningful reminder of God’s love to those suffering this disease; they speak of God’s unfailing promises. Prayers follow the reflection and the devotion closes with a hymn which is a source of comfort from the sufferers early church days.

The book concludes with some practical suggestions for those visiting someone who has dementia. These suggestions are very useful as a checklist and there is also some encouragement to persevere with visiting even when it is difficult or you cannot always see the value of any particular visit.

Overall a very useful and practical book for those wanting to reach out and provide worship experiences to those especially in the early stages of dementia.