Jesus Loves Me is the end result of Dana Gruben’s* year in the 2017 Hub program. In this review on Dana’s recently-published book, we celebrate her hard work and the inspiration and guidance she received through the Hub. Review by Rev. Patsy Dahl.
Jesus Loves Me by Dana Gruben and Ben Boland fills a big gap that has really needed to be filled! It is an attractively-presented, short book, designed specifically for people living with dementia – particularly for those who have had some Christian experience in the past and can draw upon long memories of well-known Scripture passages, traditional hymns and prayers.
The clear, simple text and colourful images will provide tremendous reassurance for many believers and may also be a means of enabling others outside the family of God to grasp the reality of God’s love for them.
It will be a very usable resource, particularly for families who are struggling to give appropriate spiritual encouragement to an older relative with a dementia diagnosis who has been a believer, but now appears to be unable to express or draw upon an active faith. Others, who are unsure what to say or how to give Christian support to a friend with dementia, will really appreciate having it. Health professionals, chaplains and pastoral care workers engaging with people with dementia will also find this book to be a most helpful resource – perhaps to read aloud, and even sing, to someone with dementia.
I am looking forward to reading the other books in this excellent series ‘Faith for Life: Biblical Resources for People Living with Dementia’. This first book, Jesus Loves Me, can now be purchased from Koorong Books or directly from www.faithforlife.com.au.
*At the launch of her new book, Dana explained the inspiration for her book:
“During my time in aged chaplaincy … I sat alongside people who were troubled by fear, regret and guilt, by hopelessness and by worry about what would happen to them when they die. I could see their need to know and trust Jesus. “But when living with dementia, people will think and remember and respond differently. And of the gospel resources we could find (whether they were written for adults or especially for older people or for children), none seemed to fully address the particular needs of people living with dementia. So, Ben and I wrote Jesus Loves Me. In doing so, we went with simple phrases, repetition, visual simplicity and images to endorse that message. We also connected it with songs and phrases that people might have heard decades earlier and laid down in their long-term memory. All this was done not so that people may develop a head knowledge, but so that people might have a relationship and respond with trust in Jesus, and find hope and joy and peace in him.”