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What Alzheimer's disease teaches us about the soul

What Alzheimer's disease teaches us about the soul

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

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When he was a chaplain at a nursing home in Chicago, the Rev. James Ellor decided to try an experiment. He found a Sunday school book from the turn of the century, selected the most popular hymns and Bible verses from that time period, and designed a worship service for dementia patients, who had been banned from the chapel after new carpet was installed because of their incontinence.

What Ellor discovered has added a new dimension to Alzheimer's treatment: soul care.

People with dementia, it turned out, might not be able to recognize their children, but could remember the first verse of beloved hymns from their childhoods, and many could recite Bible verses they had learned when they were younger, like John 3:16 or the Twenty-Third Psalm.

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