The quick facts are these: Alzheimer's Disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and is the only cause of death in the top ten in America that cannot be prevented, slowed, or cured. In 2015, dementias cost our nation an estimated $226 billion. By 2050, these costs could rise to as high as $1.1 trillion. Dementias not only affect individuals and their families, they plague us in other kinds of ways, as well. What happens when the owner of the most important company in town begins to be affected? Or a surgeon at the hospital? Or the pastor of your church? No place that involves people is immune. If dementia has not come to your pulpit, it will. It most assuredly has arrived already in your congregation. The aim of this book is to demystify dementia in order to encourage families and congregations to respond to it in meaningful, helpful, and faithful ways. This is a conversation we all need to enter. Like it or not, dealing with dementia is now part of the stewardship of our lives together.
Paul Rader is the pastor of Northside Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He has served congregations in Kentucky and West Virginia, as well as in Tennessee, and was the Coordinator for Mission for the Coalition for Appalachian Ministry.