Are there any Christian resources to use for an Alzheimer's bible study group?

15 answers | Last updated: Oct 12, 2016
Christinaraj asked...

I would like to facilitate a bible study/support group for those diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (not the caregiver). There are three people who are in the beginning to middle stages of the disease who are interested in getting together twice a month. Are there christian resources for this group - devotions, bible study, videos, etc. that I can use?


Expert Answers

Shelly Beach, MRE, is a seminary graduate; instructor at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan; author of seven books; and contributor to The NIV Stewardship Study Bible. She speaks nationally on faith, writing, and caregiving and is a host on the website Help for My Life in roundtable discussions on care issues. Beach's most recent release is Ambushed by Grace: Help and Hope on the Caregiving Journey.

I'm unaware of Bible study materials specifically written for Christians diagnosed with Alzheimer's who are looking for a support group. But resources do exist that can be effectively used to meet the needs of Christians facing terminals diseases like Alzheimer's.

One book is Prayers and Promises When Facing a Life-Threatening Illness (Zondervan 2007), written by former pastor Ed Dobson, who has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease. The book consists of short devotionals written in a practical, easily understood format and discusses the circumstances, emotions, fears, and challenges in facing a terminal illness. Material from the book is easily adaptable into discussions.

A second suggestion would be My Journey into Alzheimer's Disease (Tyndale 1989), by Robert Davis. Although this book was published a number of years ago, it is available on Amazon, and it offers the perspective of the former pastor of a large church in Miami who is living through Alzheimer's at the time he is writing the book. His practical, emotional, and spiritual insights are extremely valuable. Pastor Davis was already in the early to mid stages of Alzheimer's at the time he was writing the book, and his perspectives on the spiritual, emotional, and physical aspects of the disease will be especially meaningful for your participants.

I've also written a book titled Precious Lord, Take My Hand (Discovery House Publishers 2007) that shares my caregiving experiences with a mother with Alzheimer's in a short devotional format based on personal experiences. This book might also be useful, since the devotionals are short, easy to read, and are story-driven. Each devotional offers a Bible verse, prayer, discussion question, and journaling space.

It may also be helpful to get permission to make copies of individual pages from books and enlarge those pages for your participants. Studies show that those with Alzheimer's respond best to larger sans serif fonts printed on the right side of a white page.


Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

check with your area churches and Christian bookstores for Bible Study guides ... you may also consider checking out the children's/young adult study guides as the disease progresses. you would want to tweak it a bit, so that it doesn't come across as childish, rather taking simple stories and gearing them for your Alzheimer's students. it will take some work!
keep asking around because someone will eventually get it and do something with it. put it out there for GOD to provide :)


Christinaraj answered...

Thank you for your helpful suggestions. I started a support group for people with dementia and the very first meeting is tomorrow. I may post some of the materials used for the benefit of similar faith based support groups. :)


Love in jesus answered...

I was looking for one, too, which is why I found your question. Here is a link to a series in the UK that I found. I'm thinking about ordering it; it sounds very interesting and appropriate. http://www.scriptureunion.org.uk/Shop/BeingWithGod/114458.id


Kenv answered...

I just placed an order for the kind of resource that you are looking for. Go to bigcircumstance.com


Christinaraj answered...

Thank you Ken. Your information was very helpful!


Gg08 answered...

Thank you all for sharing your hearts and being a blessing to one another. Have your heard from Focus on the Family? I am part of this organization and we have many resources available. You might find audio and written content on various family-related topics. Below you'll find some website links on the subject of Alzheimer:
http://bit.ly/GTTeS8, http://bit.ly/GJCrBB, and http://bit.ly/GSWkD8. Hope this helps. God bless!


Caring community answered...

Hello 'Christinaraj', Thank you for submitting your question to our community! Thanks to everyone who's provided answers. Caring.com has online support groups that offer a space for caregivers of all walks of life to share their experiences, offer advice, vent and laugh with others facing the same challenges. You may see existing support groups here: www.caring.com/support-groups or you may start your own Christian centered Alzheimer's support group at the bottom of that page by clicking on "Start your Own".

Please don't hesitate to contact our team if we may assist you during this process. Best regards, Caring.com Community Team


Sheila robertson answered...

Hello. There is a book that is appropriate for a Bible Study on Alzheimer's. It is entitled Alzheimer's...There Is Hope A Biblical Perspective. I had been wanting to do research from a Christian world view on the subject when one day I was driving down the road thinking of something else when the Lord dropped a verse in my head. It was in II Timothy. The whole book is written around this verse and how it applies to Alzheimer's. THERE IS HOPE and it lies in Jesus Christ and Him alone. You can find the book on Amazon-Christian Book or my website www.sheilarobertsonbooks.com. I pray this will be a help to you and people with Alzheimer's. Sheila Robertson


Shadowbox press answered...

Hello, Christinaraj"” My name is Matthew Schneider. I am the president of Shadowbox Press, a company committed to developing comprehensive interactive books designed specifically for adults experiencing memory loss and their caregivers. We offer a collection of eight interactive books created to evoke memories, prompt conversation, and provide entertainment, education, and comfort to individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or related dementias. One of our titles, Bible Verses, combines words from Scripture with photographs of nature at its most magnificent. The book allows the reader to reflect on beloved words from the Bible while enjoying the natural beauty of God's creation. I invite you to visit our web-site at www.shadowboxpress.com for more information about our Bible Verses book.


Hrobert answered...

Alzheimer's There is Hope is a book by Sheila Robertson that offers a Biblical perspective to the disease. While not specifically intended to be a Bible study, it is great information that can be utilized that way. Available on Amazon and B&N.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I am not sure what type of Bible Study you're looking to do, but if anything, encouragement and keeping faith strong and built up is what the elderly and their caregivers alike always need.

http://www.teachingfaith.com/files/faith_pleases_god.pdf


paul answered...

As a CPE trained chaplain at a memory care facility I minister to residents who have memory loss and limited cognitive ability. I've found that one-on-one interaction is more effective than standing up and lecturing. I use picture books (not kid's books) and safe objects that they may touch to help jog their memory of something meaningful in the past. These folks may not remember what they had for breakfast but they are often able to finish verses of the 23rd psalm that I start. The goal here is to connect with each person in a spiritual way that is meaningful to them.


Lindaborn answered...

I wrote a devotional for my mom entitled Beautiful in Each Season. Each devotion is linked to a familiar hymn, utilizing music as a memory link. It's available at Amazon and can be downloaded onto the caregiver's mobile device or computer in eBook format pretty inexpensively. The softcover version is large print. If you message me at lindaborn.com I'll send you a free copy. Use the customer contact form. God bless you as you care for others, Linda Born


Lindaborn answered...

Beautiful in Each Season: Devotions for You by Linda A. Born is a devotional written for dementia patients. It is available at Amazon.