Bishop David McGough, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham says:
“Prayer is one very powerful way of connecting with all concerned. Let us pray for and with those whose lives have been touched by dementia. In this way we unite ourselves with them, forging a link with the Lord that words alone cannot express.
“Dementia is a degenerative disease which tends to isolate both the sufferer and the families that surround them. Confronted with this condition we naturally feel inadequate.
“One of my own lasting links with my mother in her final months was to share with her the Hail Mary. Dementia had robbed her of many links with the past, but prayer endured as a living link to the end. Let this Dementia – Prayer Week become your link to the many families struggling with dementia.”
The National Dementia Prayer Week 12-19th March 2015 is spearheaded by the Pastoral Care Project. The week invites everyone to pray for and with those who live among us with dementia. It is the Pastoral Care Project’s annual appeal for prayer and for almsgiving – vital for the continuity of its charitable work.
Recent statistics indicate that there are over 820,000 people in the UK with dementia and an estimated 40,000 are younger people.
The Pastoral Care Project team has drawn inspiration from Bishop David McGough to produce a new prayer leaflet to raise awareness of the importance of including faith and religious traditions in the package of care that people with dementia receive. The prayer leaflet is specially designed for those who may be looking for pastoral support for the person who has dementia and those who care for them. It is clear from the churches and schools, the project team have visited that a considerable number of people have elderly relatives whose lives are affected by dementia. It is also becoming an issue in the workplace because people are requiring more flexible working to take on caring roles for their parents or spouse.
Pastoral Care Project team Manager, Frances Molloy said “We are thankful to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales Day for Life Fund and donations from carers to cover the cost of printing the new Prayer Leaflet. The Pastoral Care Project is reliant on donations for the continuity of its charitable work.