It is estimated that 80% of the spiritual needs of long term care residents are met by the activity professional. This program will guide the person with dementia to connect with their faith through objects, music and other religious symbols and artifacts.

Different spiritual preference memory boxes/books are needed for each religious affiliation.


1. Artifacts to use in a tool kit or engagement scrapbook

Symbols of faith from their religion (cross, star of David, Menorah, Torah, Bible, Koran,   Communion, candles, hymnals, Cresent Moon)

Daily devotions, favorite passages, well known religious figures/names

2.  Engagement activities

  • Artifacts of different textures, sizes, materials (sensory discrimination activity)
  • Painting/coloring symbols, stained glass, holiday symbols (art activities)
  • Praying in color individual or group sessions
  •  Angel based discussions, art, writing
  •   Tying prayer blankets
  •   Hosting resident let prayer groups
  •  Normalizing activities such as polishing candle sticks, placing candles in holders,            folding/holding prayer blankets/shawls/rosary beads/cloth from baptism,                wedding, religious celebrations
  • Biblical plants/gardening/flower arranging
  • Holding hymnals/prayer books/turning pages
  •  Reading verses/inspirational quotes
  •  Music listening and singing

.  3.  Cues and triggers for dementia

  • Pictures of churches (similar to the childhood church)
  • Stained glass windows
  • Religious service program to hold/read
  • Angels
  • Religious art
  • Alter pictures and artifacts
  •  Music of their religious/cultural preference/church bells
  •  Simplified activities using spiritual information such as crosswords, trivia,           matching, sorting religious based holiday cards, sorting or organizing candles, folding        programs, spiritual collages, flower arranging
Group Size Time of Day Duration Acuity Level
Medium (5 - 8) Morning
45 Minutes Memory Care
Facilitator Gender
Programming Coed
Wellness Domains

Spiritual, Emotional


see FICA Spiritual History Tool at                                                                                      

see attached PDF

Supporting Research

Source: Harold G. Koenig, Aging and God: Spiritual Pathways to Mental Health in Midlife and Later Years

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