Health & Spirit

Is it worth visiting people with dementia?

By Billy Graham, Tribune Content Agency on

Q: Our church has been invited to visit a local nursing home and hold a brief weekly service, but I'm not sure it's worth doing. Most of the residents probably have dementia, and I don't think they'll even remember we've been there. -- Mrs. E.M.

A: Let me ask you a question: If you were a resident in this nursing home, wouldn't you want someone to visit you and share God's Word with you? And wouldn't you want someone to sing hymns to you -- hymns you may have learned as a child, and which are still embedded in your memory? Of course you would.

I'm sure you'd also feel like this if you had a loved one in this facility -- a mother or father, a sister or brother, a husband or wife. Old age can be very lonely for some people; I don't think I've ever visited a nursing home without having the staff ask me to visit someone who was all alone in the world, or who seldom had anyone visit them. Remember Jesus' words (which we usually call "the Golden Rule"): "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you" (Matthew 7:12).

Never forget the power of God's Word. We never know how God will use His Word to bless people, or convict them of their sins, or bring them to Christ -- but even in hidden ways, God has promised to bless His Word. God has said that His Word "will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11).

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Thank God for every opportunity He gives you and your church to serve Him. The Bible says, "Look after orphans and widows in their distress" (James 1:27).


(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:



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