Emerald Crest by Augustana Care designed a sensory worship service specifically for people with conditions that result in memory loss (like Alzheimer’s). While it’s not uncommon for people with cognitive/memory loss to engage in singing a familiar hymn or praying a familiar prayer, a new sensory-based worship service is allowing people with memory loss to be active participants, defying the “dementia” stereotype.
The service was created at Emerald Crest by Augustana Care by occupational therapists and chaplains. “We are looking for ways to make religious expression something that enables and invigorates, helping those with conditions like Alzheimer’s be more active participants not only in these services, but more generally in the world around them,” says Pastor Alex Treitler. The service and philosophy behind it are featured in The Atlantic.