Using Godly Play with Senior Adults

Thanks to Building Faith’s Kat Mercer for this Great Idea!

Mercer, quoting Rebecca Nye in her 2009 book, Children’s Spirituality: What It Is and Why It Matters (Church House), writes, “‘Their reality is messy, made up of having a voice and wanting to listen; spiritual intuition and incomprehension of half our words; being people in their own right and dependent on others.’ Nye is describing the experience of children; these issues of communication, competence, and independence are struggles that many senior adults come with as well.”

In relating her experience as a chaplain in a nursing care facility and how she uses Godly Play to connect with the residents under her care, Mercer also cites Lois Howard’s Using Godly Play with Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patents (Church Publishing), noting that sharing Bible stories through Godly Play, “helps [residents] to remember”.

Mercer includes tips for adapting Godly Play for nursing care and retirement facilities, noting that sharing these stories in this way allows the story to be tangible for participants.

Find additional resources for chaplaincy and pastoral care with persons who are aging and/or struggling with memory concerns; chronically ill persons; and/or those moving toward death in our Pastoral Care lib guides.