After months of Covid separation, buddies and households are planning to have fun a ‘correct’ Christmas this yr, one that features worshipping collectively once more in ‘actual’ church companies. And the corporate, the celebrations and the worship can convey a particular blessing for individuals dwelling with dementia.
One of many biggest items is the way in which the Holy Spirit magnifies our understanding of all issues religious (2 Corinthians 4:18). Dementia impacts the mind and cognition, nevertheless it would not contact the soul and the spirit of an individual, and at Christmas time particularly, the Holy Spirit may be launched by our worship and religious songs. There is a reflection of this within the lyrics to ‘O Holy Night time’, the place it says, ‘lengthy lay the world in sin and error pining, until He appeared and the soul felt its price.’
This yr Christmas will convey collectively individuals who have not seen one another for a very long time and you might even see some modifications amongst older family members. Consultants predict an increase in dementia due to the Covid impact, and it is identified that emotions of loneliness enhance vulnerability to dementia. However forgetfulness, and apathy could also be attributable to gentle cognitive impairment (MCI), a situation that, once more, may be introduced on by stress and loneliness. MCI is reversible typically.
In case your Christmas gatherings embrace somebody with dementia or MCI, you will need them to be contented. They’ll benefit from the time higher if their sensory enter just isn’t overloaded. A comfortable chair within the nook, with a bit facet desk for a cup of tea and a mince pie is best than within the centre of a crowded room with excessive noise ranges.
A superb instance of together with somebody with a incapacity with out placing them below strain occurred round a hospital mattress. Marie, in her late 60s, was recovering after main surgical procedure. She had a big household of six kids, and one night they got here into the hospital and, after greeting her with a cautious hug, discovered some chairs and sat round her mattress and chatted amongst themselves, with an occasional phrase or nod to her. She clearly felt included, however wasn’t anticipated to should make an effort to affix in, though she did a couple of instances, in fact. She was simply completely happy to have them there and see them being household. Every of them introduced a bit present and put it on her bedside locker, which made it appear like Christmas.
At Christmas time, by the worship and acquainted, beloved hymns and liturgy, deep calls to deep and the Holy Spirit speaks to our spirits. We’re ‘surprisingly warmed’ as John Wesley described an expertise. It touches the essence of who we’re, and may make our spirits soar. Spirit to spirit communication bypasses a broken mind, and makes a soul really feel its price. It might additionally assist the individual emerge by the fog, with colleges that that they had apparently misplaced. It occurs at different instances of the yr in fact, however there’s extra stimulus at Christmas time with its church companies, worship, and Scripture studying. It’s a valuable factor to be touched by the Holy Spirit.
You can too discover on our website a small programme of Mind & Soul Boosting for Seniors (BSBS) at Christmas time. We’re receiving good studies on the outcomes being seen. The Christmas model is appropriate for a small group or for a pair. Additionally good for sharing collectively is our new picture book, ‘God’s Word in God’s World.’ It was designed by Ruth Ranger, whose father is in one in every of our houses. Trying on the photos and saying the Scripture verses out loud is usually a boon for somebody dwelling with dementia.
Louise Morse is a speaker and writer of a number of books on problems with previous age, together with dementia. She can be exterior relations supervisor with the Pilgrims’ Buddy Society, a Christian charity based in 1807 to assist help needy aged Christians.