Spirituality in Late Dementia

10 Ways to Comfort Your Loved One

One means of connecting as communication grows ever more challenging: through religious or spiritual practices. Faith-based practices are sometimes mistakenly abandoned at this point in caregiving because it may seem that the person won't recognize them. Or they've been overlooked in the stress of managing health and behavioral issues. But spirituality can be of enormous comfort to your loved one and therefore a powerful caregiving tool for you.

What to try:

  1. Reading aloud from holy texts or other works of faith (Bible, Koran, etc.)

  2. Reciting prayers

  3. Asking a clergyperson to visit and pray

  4. Attending services (if physically still possible)

  5. Saying calming chants (which can also calm you!)

  6. Singing hymns

  7. Playing CDs of religious music

  8. Tuning into a televised religious service

  9. Walking (or being wheeled) around a labyrinth, church grounds, or park

  10. Reading poetry aloud

Even someone whose language skills and social responsiveness are declining can still hear. Any practices that brought comfort in the past can have the power to do the same now.

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio