Stanwick Group of Churches

October 2019

The Lord’s Prayer can reflect feelings, thoughts and action in relation to dementia, one of the most devastating of conditions and difficult to accept. Dementia is one of those conditions, of which there are many types, that can alter every aspect of one’s life and the lives of families and friends. The loss, partial or complete, of the higher mental function can release expressions of feelings that otherwise would not be expressed.

Our Father, who art in Heaven.

Constant, loving and caring.

Thy will be done.

It is very hard to understand how this can be, Bishop Helen-Ann talks of a sense of reconciliation in the struggle (Beyond Belief, Radio 4, 2nd September 2019, 4.30 pm).

Give us this day our daily bread.

Our daily spiritual sustenance to cope with life.

Lead us not into temptation.

The temptation to impatience or to argue with an erroneous but fixed belief.

But deliver us from evil.

The act of confrontation when it will achieve nothing but distress.

For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory.

Not ours, but Thine.

There is a parallel with the loss to bereavement. There is a huge loss in dementia: there is often greater and a longer process in dementia especially when it is slow to develop.

However it is not an inevitable consequence of advancing years. The incidence is often quoted, less often is the converse: those who do not have dementia: 13 out of 14 of over 65 year olds, 4 out of 5 of 80 year olds, and 2 out of 3 of 90 year olds, do not have dementia.

A final thought from the Diocese Dementia course in June this year, a quote from someone diagnosed with dementia: “Even if I forget my facts, I can remember my feelings”.

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