Wonderful reflections, all!
David, to share your service format, you can email it to Lindsay Spencer at [email protected]. She can get it added to the lesson for the rest of us to see.
Several years ago when I was working in a nursing facility, colleagues and I used a book called Full Circle: Spiritual Therapy for the Elderly to develop a service geared specifically toward residents with dementia. We didn’t follow their model exactly, but adapted this concept into a simple worship service centered around a theme each week. Here’s a link to the book, I hope: https://www.amazon.com/Full-Circle-Spiritual-Activities-Management/dp/0789006065/ref=sr_1_16?keywords=full+circle+dementia&qid=1567042265&rnid=2941120011&s=books&sr=1-16
I would echo David’s thoughts that while individuals with dementia can certainly be included in a general service, having a smaller setting allows for interaction specifically designed for their needs and limitations. For example, in independent living this past Sunday I thought about using “Jesus Loves Me” as a hymn, but my piano player (a resident) thought some attendees might see that as childish. In contrast, that’s exactly the kind of song that residents with dementia often enjoy singing.