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After worship services in the Bethany memory care unit, retired United Methodist Bishop Kenneth Carder goes around the room, greeting each resident by name. Carder is serving as interim chaplain at Bethany, part of the Heritage at Lowman senior community near Columbia, S.C. Photo by Matt Brodie.

Photo by Matt Brodie

After worship services in the Bethany memory care unit, retired United Methodist Bishop Kenneth Carder goes around the room, greeting each resident by name. Carder is serving as chaplain at Bethany, part of the Heritage at Lowman senior community near Columbia, S.C.

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Alzheimer’s and dementia: Ministering with the forgotten

 

Staggering statistics

There are 5.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million. One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. It’s the 6th leading cause of death, killing more people than breast and prostate cancers combined. Currently there is no cure.

Church's opportunity to respond

Out of his experience as his wife Linda’s caregiver and as volunteer chaplain at memory care unit, Bishop Carder realized that The United Methodist Church is in a unique position to be in mission and ministry with those who have Alzheimer’s and other dementias as well as their families and caregivers.

To help congregations respond to this growing need, Bishop Carder has created a free small group study, which will help them explore topics such as:

  • The impact and challenges of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia
  • The theological basis for church involvement
  • Practical and specific ways local congregations can be involved in caring for those with dementia and their caregivers
  • Ways we can communicate, interact, and even worship with people who have Alzheimer’s and dementia

See below for more information about this study, Bishop Carder's personal journey as a caregiver, and stories of how churches are providing care for those dealing with dementia. 

 

Bishop’s new Alzheimer study helps congregations care for those with dementia

“The church has the unique opportunity, even responsibility, to minister to the needs of people who are suffering from neurological cognitive disorders as well as the families,“ says Bishop Carder. Read More

Alzheimer’s/Dementia: Ministry With the Forgotten study

This free five-part study was created by Bishop Ken Carder, whose wife is living with dementia, to help congregations minister to those with dementia as well as their caregivers. View

The Carder family gathers at the Bethany memory unit at the Heritage at Lowman senior community near Columbia, S.C. Retired United Methodist Bishop Kenneth Carder  stands with wife, Linda, and their daughters Sheri Carder Hood (second from right) and Sandra Carder Nash (far right). Photo by Matt Brodie.

10 ways to minister to those with dementia and their families

Bishop Ken Carder urges churches to integrate these persons into the life of the congregation. “Ministry with people with dementia is a wonderful opportunity to experience the presence of God.” Read More

After worship services in the Bethany memory care unit, retired United Methodist Bishop Kenneth Carder goes around the room, greeting each resident by name. Carder is serving as interim chaplain at Bethany, part of the Heritage at Lowman senior community near Columbia, S.C. Photo by Matt Brodie.

Retired bishop serves memory care unit as chaplain

Bishop Kenneth Carder’s experience with his wife’s dementia leads him to a new ministry assignment that he’s happy to have. Read More

Alzheimer’s program boosts more than the brain

Activities exercising their bodies and their minds are offered to members of the Brain Fitness Club for people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Read More

First United Methodist Church in Montgomery offers respite care for those facing memory loss. Video image by United Methodist Communications.

Church Values Gifts in Those with Dementia

Those facing memory loss can face isolation too. Respite program offers space to still contribute to the community. ‘There are many things we can do.’ View