We can make a difference in the life of our loved one.
There is no cure for the diseases that cause dementia. Few medical therapies are effective in slowing or stopping dementia's advance.
However, loving, nurturing care has been proven to help. The care you can bring to your loved one does help her be all she can be that day.
If you feel God calling you to come alongside your loved one, fear not. He will never leave you or forsake you. You could be the very answer to prayers for your loved one's daily needs.
Christ came that we might have life—abundant, full to overflowing life.
This did not stop when we embarked on our dementia journey. Life continues through it.
The sun shines, the flowers bloom, the robin returns, the grass grows. In the midst of our struggles to care for our loved one with dementia, we live.
How do we turn the corner to living with the constant troubles and battles?
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17
When we offer the sacrifice of praise, lifting our hearts in thanksgiving to our creator, we submit to His will and His way. The way of hope, life and peace comes from Him.
We ask for wisdom in how to answer our loved one when she is distressed; seek His guidance for ideas to help her dress or take a bath. With God’s help, we reach past the dementia to our loved one—touching her soul; giving and receiving love.
And in the midst of the day’s journey, we stop to admire a furry caterpillar crossing the side walk, watch the children play soccer in a field, gaze at the dancing leaves swinging in the breeze, and feel the warmth of the sun on our face.
When we can push aside the cares, the weight of schedules, and busy tasks to be with our loved one, we will live the journey with her. We focus on the moment and where she is. We enter her world, as much as possible, being with her in it.
Let us not miss the life in the journey. It holds hidden joys and moments of love.
WHAT IS DEMENTIA?
A dizzying array of dementia symptoms mask a common thread—insidious degeneration of the brain over time increasingly impacting the ability to hold a conversation, make plans, complete a project, or get dressed. The symptoms continue and compound over time.
That said—dementia is a symptom, like headache or fever, caused by many different diseases.
This is the challenge—blood tests and imaging scans that can definitively diagnose the disease are in development. Diagnosis rests on ruling out other causes and studying the pattern of symptoms—is memory or personality affected early on? Are symptoms continuous or intermittent with days of incapacity interspersed with almost normal functioning? Is hearing, sight or the ability to smell affected? Is your loved one forgetting how to use a microwave or a coffee pot? Is there a history of REM sleep disorders?
The most common types are:
Why it is good to see a doctor:
Meet with your loved one in her world, today, and walk with her in it. As her needs and concerns change, rotate with her.
Christ calls us to love our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Let us endeavor to shower love on our loved one in this great time of need. Moments of awareness of losses, surging emotions harder to control than before, fears of humiliation and embarrassment can make it even harder for our loved one to respond in love. Let us extend the love.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you loved one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” John 13:34
Through the years caring for my mother Edith with dementia God was there.
He called me to the task to be her primary caregiver and sustained me through the journey. Each difficulty and setback provided another way for Him to come through—the right advice at the right time, the perfect assisted living facility, encouraging staff, and a patient husband who listened to my latest story.
We can trust God’s word—ask for wisdom and He will give it—James 1:5
Bring your cares to Him for He cares for you—1 Peter 5:7
Have no anxiety but with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving bring your troubles to Christ, keeping your eyes on Him—Philippians 4:6-7
The journey has many ups and downs, victories and difficulties, yet would we leave our loved one to walk alone? May God provide your every need as you help your loved one finish well.
Pour through your Bible to find your verses of promise and comfort. Write them on cards, tape them to your cabinets.
Please share your favorite verses that were a lamp to light the way.
Welcome to the blog page for Biblical Dementia Caregiving. It is a resource to come alongside as you walk the dementia journey with your loved one. My name is Dorothy Gable and I wish to help, encourage and share the lessons we learned caring for my mother with dementia. For more of my story, please see the About page in this website.