“Everything is Either Sent by God or Used by God”: An Exploratory Study on the Impact of COVID-19 Upon the Religious Lives of Black Families Living with Dementia

Yiran Ge, Mayra Sainz, Janelle Gore, Fayron Epps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this research study was to explore the impact of COVID-19 on church engagement for Black families affected by dementia in the USA. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with current caregivers, church leaders, and persons with dementia (n = 16). The following themes emerged: (a) Ability to continue religious practices, (b) Increased church engagement, (c) Importance of fellowship, (d) Role of technology, and (e) New normal. As the Internet becomes the new church building, online worship services enabled more families affected by dementia to engage. Many church leaders expressed the intent of continuing to provide online worship services post-pandemic. Families highlighted their need to fellowship with other congregants. Technology was perceived as a double-edged sword serving as both a motivator and a barrier to religious engagement. These findings will support faith leaders in understanding the needs of their congregants during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as allowing families living with dementia to continue engaging in religious practices and living in meaningful ways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3193-3208
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
Volume60
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • African American
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Coronavirus
  • Faith practices
  • Religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Religious studies

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