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Always With You: The Comfort of Spirituality in Dementia Workshop Topics

~Donna Marie Vuilleumier


‘Always With You: The Comfort of Spirituality in Dementia,’ grew out of a series of workshops which are available as selected topics. All workshops are fine-tuned to meet the concerns of your specific group. I offer a variety of workshops to assist congregations, pastors and caregivers in understanding and meeting the spiritual and emotional needs of those living with a memory loss illness and their loved ones.



1.)What is the Comfort and Peace of Spirituality for Those Living in the World of Dementia?

In this foundational overview we will:

  • See how Alzheimer’s/dementia physically and emotionally impact the lives of the one with the diagnosis and those who love and care for them.

  • Understand how procedural memory is the physical home of a spiritual life.

  • Learn ways to keep and tell the life story of the one who is ill through spiritual memory activities and as ways that comfort the challenging behaviors that arise.

  • Value the grace of connecting to their reality rather than ours.

2.) Caregivers Giving and Receiving Care

Caring for a loved one with dementia is both pain and privilege, a benefit and burden. It is not a journey to be taken alone.

  • We will look at common needs and concerns, and ways to find support.

  • You will learn how empathy is the most significant and loving aspect of caregiving, and how it is balanced by the healthy boundaries of self-care that guard against the overstepping of physical, emotional, and spiritual capabilities.


3.) Spiritual Needs Nearing the End-of-Life

There are unique spiritual needs when Alzheimer’s/ dementia becomes a final illness.

  • Just as with any other final illness, the one who is ill still needs to know that their life had value, meaning and purpose.

  • We will look at the common caregiver experience of mixed thoughts about the long good-bye as a relief and yet an emptiness.

  • We will look at some practical ways to prepare for this time, and how that can bring a more peaceful end.


4.)Caring as a Congregation

The church is called to take the idea of “a spiritual home” as far as it can go as faith communities can offer a welcome and loving range of spiritual and emotional support as well as the familiar rhythms of church life, serving as a place of safety, welcome, dignity, and belonging.

  • You will learn some key concepts about memory loss illnesses and caring ways to respond at different stages of the disease process.

  • We will look at ways to adapt and create worship services to be Alzheimer’s/dementia friendly and barrier-free.

  • We will explore a variety of practical tips for faith communities to support those who are ill and their caregivers.

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