Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Elaine Eshbaugh, Honors Thesis Advisor


Dementia--Public opinion; Religious institutions--Employees--Attitudes;


Dementia is a public health concern. The number of people who will have some form of dementia is expected to rise in the coming years (Brookmeyer, 2011). Around 50 million people have dementia worldwide. Every year, this number increases by about 10 million (World Health Organization, 2019). Because this is such a prevalent issue, each part of the community should be educated about dementia as well as how to best interact with people living with dementia (PLWD). In order to educate these individual community sectors, it is important to first research the existing perceptions about dementia among the community. Faith and religious activities are important aspects in the lives of many older adults, and these activities can still be meaningful and integral in the lives of PLWD (Plunkett & Chen, 2016).

This study focused specifically on faith-based organizations (FBOs) in Cedar Falls-Waterloo, Iowa, administering a survey to staff and volunteers in order to identify the most common existing knowledge and misconceptions among them. It also identified strengths and gaps in services provided by FBOs to PLWD. This research contributed to the development of a future training about dementia for this population. The future training will seek to teach people within FBOshow to become more dementia-friendly as well as how to best serve the PLWD within their communities. This research study seeks to answer three main questions.

1.What knowledge and misconceptions exist about dementia among FBOs?

2.What knowledge and misconceptions exist about person-centered dementia strategies among FBOs?

3.What are the strengths and gaps in services provided to PLWD within FBOs?

Year of Submission



School of Applied Human Sciences

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (33 pages)



File Format


Included in

Gerontology Commons