Do This, Remembering Me

The Spiritual Care of Those with Alzheimer's and Dementia

Colette Bachand-Wood

Mar/2016, 128 Pages, Paperback, 5 x 7

ISBN-13: 9780819232519



Memory loss should not be spiritual loss.

“What do I do to help?” Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, almost everyone knows someone with some form of dementia, yet few know how to answer that question, and very little material exists on providing spiritual care to adults with dementia-related diseases. Even seminaries rarely provide training or clinical pastoral education in this field.

This book is an answer. It provides a hands-on manual that will give clergy, spiritual care providers, and family members an understanding of the ongoing spiritual needs of individuals with dementia, as well as practical tools such as how to create a religious service in a memory care unit and how one might plan a nursing home visit. Accessibly written, with real life applications and sample services for a variety of settings. More than just useful, the book inspires with shared stories that are tender, sad, funny—and sometimes all three at once, encouraging readers to develop spiritual care ministries for people with memory loss in congregations, homes, nursing facilities, or other communities—a ministry that will only gain in importance in the coming decade, as Baby Boomers age and the number of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia skyrockets.

Colette Bachand-Wood, whose father died of complications related to dementia, is a graduate of Episcopal Divinity School and spent seven years of research and work with Alzheimer's and other dementia-related disease patients. She currently serves as rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Whitman, Massachusetts, and is also chaplain at the Village at Propietor's Green in Marshfield, a senior living facility with a memory care unit. In addition Bachand-Wood runs a monthly care-giver support group and previously worked as a hospice chaplain, where she received special training in Alzheimer care. She has been guest speaker and panel member at local conferences, support groups, and professional groups, as well as facilitator of bereavement programs in nursing homes for staff members. She lives in Scituate, Massachusetts.

“Collette Bachand-Wood’s well-presented material offers clear pastoral advice and wisdom combined with the obvious joy she has found in her ministry. This is an essential work for all working with persons with dementia.”––The Rt. Rev. John L. Rabb, Chair, Board of Episcopal Health Ministries“Here is valuable insight into a world where spiritual reconnection and overall emotional support play a vital role in facing the challenges of the dreadful disease we call Alzheimer’s.”––Kristi Lyon, Support and Services at Home Coordinator, Cathedral Square Senior Living, Burlington, VT“Here you’ll find nourishment to be a companion to people living with dementia. Don’t buy a single copy of this book––buy several and splash them around your church!”––James Creasey, Founder and CEO of“This work is a helpful pastoral care ministry tool, reminding us when ministering with older adults with cognitive loss to set aside our agendas and expectations and simply be present.”––Malinda Collier, Director of Lay Ministry Formation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Richmond, VA“This book is a great aid to those who love and minister to these often ‘forgotten’ people.” ––The Rev. Deacon Lois Howard, Lexington, KY

"In his theology of childhood, Jerome Berryman, describes the importance of respecting the experience of God in each person. By watching, listening to, and being with those who may lack the language of faith, he adds, we can learn to know what they already know. Collette Bachand-Wood gently helps her readers apply that theology to those who have dementia. With stories, observations, and practical ministry tools, she eases our fears and gives us courage to find wholeness." ––Dorothy Linthicum, Program Coordinator, Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary

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