I'm a relatively new (4 months) pastor/chaplain (there are 3 of us) at Holland Christian Homes in Brampton. We have a unique ministry to a variety of the 1100 residents (average age is 87) who live on our campus. Some are in independent apartments and others live in long term care (just under 300 spread over 8 floors).
We have a morning and evening worship service on Sunday for the CRC that meets on campus. We also lead "Bible Studies" for residents on each of the floors in the nursing facility. My question concerns these people. They have varying levels of cognition because of disability and dementia. Hymn singing runs for 30 minutes followed by a Bible study for 30 minutes once a week.
I am trying different things to capture the attention of residents. I've read a Bible text and explained it. I've read a Bible text with explanation interspersed. I've acted out a Bible text with lots of motion. I've read the text and then retold it to explain while inviting residents to repeat key parts. Each method works for 2 or 3 of the 25 to 30 residents who attend each week. Some sleep. Some are unable to focus. The hymn sing gains a lot of action. In my acting out the Bible text, I had the most response by residents. But that takes a lot of work.
My question: For those who have worked with people at varying levels of dementia (leaning toward severe) what do you use for Bible reading and study?
I'm looking at using Sally Lloyd Jones' "The Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum" for some ideas/plans for Bible study. There is a short video that can be used with it (I do have access to a large television monitor on several floors).
My hope is to be sensitive to people and their capabilities while sharing the gospel message with residents, many of whom grew up in Christian churches.
Thanks for your help,