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Faith Communities Can Contribute to Serve People and the Families Suffering from Dementia

Update Date: Dec 17, 2015 01:41 PM EST

Dr. Stephen Sapp was first drawn to Alzheimer's and its care 20 years ago. To help engage the societies, he held regular workshops and invited religious leaders to attend so that they could in-turn educate the communities in their geographic area. "The churches have failed their people," says ethicist and expert on aging, Stephen Sapp. "Specifically in the area of support for persons with Alzheimer's and their caregivers." His workshops were hardly attended by people and unfortunately, the situation has still far from changed, says Dr. Sapp.

Many care conferences and workshops catering to dementia do not even consider the faith communities and the role they can play. The reason is that the people do not come forward because they are scared of Alzheimer's. As per the surveys, Americans are really afraid of getting the disease than they are of dying. As a result, the people avoid it for as long as they can. It is only when someone close to us is affected by the condition that we start seeking information and support, reports Huffington Post

Stephen Post urges the Church and its communities to educate themselves about the disease so that they can offer support groups to the caregiving family and also provide relief care for the patients, so that the caregivers can take some time out. These actions, said Dr. Sapp and Dr. Post will be one of the most significant contribution of the faith communities. Dr. Sapp said that the biggest challenge is that even when people are willing to care for the sick such as pastors, nurses, nursing homes chaplains, volunteers and parish nurses, they often avoid visiting people who are impaired cognitively, this is mostly because they don't know what to do. This is the reason it has become imperative to be involved in the care of families that are suffering by educating the pastors, care teams and the congregations, said Huffington Post

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