Meeting a Growing Need: The Pastoral Candidate's Preparation for Spiritual Care to Alzheimer's Patients
1 in 10 people in the United States over the age of sixty-five currently suffers with Alzheimer’s disease. Over 5 million people have been diagnosed, but thousands more may have the symptoms and not know it. The demographics of older people in the United States will steadily grow over the next generation. Are future pastors ready to meet a growing need and bring spiritual care to Alzheimer’s patients? As we look to the future, it is healthy to evaluate and discuss what role Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary can serve in preparing future pastors to meet this growing need. Alzheimer's disease is quickly becoming a health crisis in our country. In order to meet this growing need, the purpose of this thesis is twofold: 1) It helps the pastoral candidate gain awareness about the growing presence of Alzheimer’s in our society. 2) It serves as a starting point to prepare the pastoral candidate for the specific spiritual care he will bring to Alzheimer’s patients. In order to minister effectively to someone with Alzheimer’s disease, a pastor needs knowledge of the Scriptures, knowledge of the individual to whom he ministers, and knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease.