What Kind Of Bible Passages Work Best
I tend to stick to the New Testament, especially the Gospels and some of St. Pauls instructions to the early churches, which brim with practical encouragements on how to treat people and how to cling to God. Many of the Psalms also work beautifully, with deep truths expressed in heartfelt language.
I dont suggest tackling anything thats super confusing, scary, or harsh. Dont get me wrong: My groups have often discussed suffering, hardship, and guilt, because these are universal experiences. But for people with dementia, I think its important to focus on Gods comfort, forgiveness, and promises of love and eternal presence.
What Do We Need To Remember
From a biblical perspective, however, we are a people called to hope. A biblical view of the person recognizes that all people have inherent value as created beings, who were made in the image of God Because of our status as Gods children, we are to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of ability. Moreover, God instructs us to provide special care, concern, and protection of those who are vulnerable
As Gods people, we are called to remember him, and to hold to biblical truths about his relationship to his people, including those with dementia. This means that:
- God loves us regardless of our cognitive and intellectual ability.
- God cares for those who are unable to care for themselves.
- The Holy Spirit searches the depths of our hearts and minds .
- The Holy Spirit intercedes for us with prayers beyond our comprehension, particularly when we dont know what to pray .
- The Holy Spirit sustains our connection to the triune God .
- Jesus modeled sacrificial love and taught us to wash each others feet .
- Jesus did for us what we could never do for ourselves.
- God remembers us regardless of our ability to remember him .
How To Encourage With Your Words
When people with dementia speak, always use validation, not correction. If someone says theyre looking for their mother, dont tell them their mom is dead affirm their love for their mom. If someone answers a question or bursts in with nonsensical word salad, simply nod and affirm any single word you may hear. For example:
- Thats right, Marge, mothers are so important to us and to God! And God often acts in a motherly way, caring for us no matter what.
- Thanks for that good word about together, Frank. Im so glad were all here together with you today.
- Yes, George, blankets keep us warm and cozy, dont they? Its good to know God is taking care of us.
One phrase I use a lot when I have absolutely no idea what the person said:
- That works for me, Sherrie! Thanks!
or, if the person is a little agitated:
- Well, you know, Lou Ann, we all do the best we can.
Avoid asking directly, Do you remember ? Try to evoke long-term memories with open-ended statements and then wait for responses. For example:
- I wonder who heard this story of the Good Samaritan in their Sunday School classes when they were little
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Helping And Advocating For The Sick And Weak
Theres a reason that caregivers are often said to be doing Gods work.
Acts 20:35. I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Luke 14:13-14. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
Matthew 7:12. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Leviticus 19:14. Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.
Isaiah 46:4. And even to your old age I am he and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear even I will carry, and will deliver you.
Matthew 25:35-36, 40. For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Deuteronomy 27:18. Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way. And all the people shall say, Amen.
A Biblical Approach For People With Dementia And Their Families
Like the secular Medical Model, the biblical approach has a standard definition of dementia: decreased mental capabilities such as memory loss, inability to think abstractly, impaired decision-making, and the inability to communicate normally. The biblical approach values the contributions of physicians and considers dementia a medical condition that should be managed by a physician.
In addition, the biblical approach recognizes that people with dementia and their loved ones need counseling based on biblical truth. A biblical counselor is advised to take a personal interest in a counselee with dementia and visit frequently, be sensitive to spiritual needs, and encourage him or her from Scripture.
Many Christian families may choose to care for their loved one at home rather than send them to a nursing home, if possible. We see an application of this in 1 Timothy 2:3-16, a passage that focuses on the treatment of widows. The apostle Paul says that widows first need to provide for themselves or remarry. If this isnt possible, then the family is to help. Finally, if the family is unable to help, then the church would provide for her needs including proper housing, clothing, and food.
Howard fondly remembers an encouraging incident before his fathers death. His father told him, Kid, Id be in an awful fix if it werent for you. Thank you. Then a blank stare returned to his eyes.
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Facing The Fear Of Dementia
Dementia strikes without regard for physical health or prior intelligence. This apparent randomness often creates fear and anxiety, and may cause friends and family to pull away from the affected individual.
Some studies say people fear Alzheimers, which makes up 70 percent of cases of dementia, more than cancer and even death, says Dr. John Dunlop, a physician specializing in geriatrics and author of Finding Grace in the Face of Dementia.
Sarah Smith shares the heartbreaking story of navigating her mothers journey with Early-Onset Alzheimers disease.
Yet Christ calls believers not to fear, but to love boldly. Scripture tells us that His heart is toward the hurting and most vulnerable among us. As those created in His image, we have a responsibility to honor one another and to care for others as Jesus cares for us.
We begin by recognizing how hard it can be to show signs of aging in a culture that prizes those with sharp minds, beauty and youth. Independence is a virtue dependence is looked down upon. When a life-altering illness strikes, the afflicted are often moved to the margins of everyday life hidden away in hospitals, care facilities or homes. Whats more, they are typically surrounded by doctors, nurses, techs and other virtual strangers.
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Be Anxious For Nothing
A fear of dementia may also indicate an inability to fully trust God when life gets tough. Does it make sense to trust God for our eternal salvation while failing to trust that he will provide for us in dementia?
If we fear dementia, we need to recognize that fear and worry are often expressions of pride. Why do we worry? Usually, we worry because we think we are important and anything that detracts from our comfort and happiness has to be bad. If the world were ultimately all about us and our pleasure, that would be true. Thankfully, we can find our greatest joy and fulfillment not in ourselves but in the infinite resources of God and his glory.
Paul says, For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen . Dementia is certainly included in all things.
If our goal is to glorify God, we should not fear dementia.
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Gods Purposes In Dementia
I wish everyones experience with dementia was as positive as Helens. Unfortunately, they often arent. Yet our God is a Redeemer, and he can use the heartache of dementia in many ways to accomplish his ultimate purpose to display his glory. Here are three of the ways I have seen God use dementia for his peoples good.
To humble the proud
I have seen people in the early stages of dementia become more patient, gentle, and humble. I have seen folk far too proud and self-sufficient to ever think they needed a Savior turn to Christ in saving faith.
To sanctify caregivers
In the later stages of dementia, the growth may come more in the character and values of the caregiver. They may also grow in patience, trust, and the ability to love unselfishly.
Too often, people with dementia live in their own little world. They are not interested or particularly aware of the world outside. They do not remember much of the past and do not care about the future. They live in the here and now in a private world.
God is glorified when loving people take the time necessary to understand that world. In a sense, they allow themselves to inhabit the world of a person with dementia. They spend time with them, seek to understand how they feel, and learn how to communicate love to them. The victims of dementia still possess an inherent dignity as Gods image bearers. Respecting that dignity glorifies God.
To challenge our assumptions
Try To Accept Your Spouses Situation
Many partners fail to learn more about their significant others struggles with mental health.
Choosing to stay in denial and pretend that it doesnt exist is wrong. By doing this, you are shutting your partner out in a time where they need you the most. Instead, sit down with your wife/ husband and ask them to talk openly about their feelings.
Educate yourself about their illness and learn how to talk to them in order to make them feel supported.
Ask your spouse if they would like to get an evaluation. Having an assessment and diagnosis can help your partner access the right treatment options. Encourage your partner to visit a physician and perhaps seek counseling.
Consider setting some boundaries being in a marriage means bearing your partners weaknesses and difficulties, but it does not mean that you enable these weaknesses. Mental illness is a tough thing to go through but it is treatable.
What does the bible say about mental health?
When taking care of your partner during their time of need, it is important that you stay in touch with God. The Bible does talk about mental illness maybe not in the depth that we wish it did, but good information is in there, nonetheless. If you have lost all hope, then remember this verse Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
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Bible Verses For Alzheimer’s Caregivers
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming. We hope you’ll find strength, comfort and inspiration in this slideshow featuring uplifting Bible verses for caregivers.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
O God, be not far from me O my God, make haste to help me!
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
One: Dementia Is A Disease
Like all disease, dementia is ultimately the result of the fall into sin recorded in Genesis 3. It was not part of Gods original creation when He said, It is good. Like all of the consequences of the fall, it will one day be corrected for believers as a part of the redemption that we have in Christ. We rarely see dementia resolved in this life, but we will see such a resolution in eternity.
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Christian Quotes On Mental Health
When God has already defined you as His and purposed by Him, no mental illness can change that. Brittany Moses
Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say My tooth is aching than to say My heart is broken. C.S. Lewis
When you cannot see the future and not knowing the outcome gives you anxiety, focus on the One who has gone before you. He knows the plans He has for you. Brittany Moses
Even as a Christian, youll have good days and youll have bad days but youll never have a day without God.
When it feels like youre empty and hurting alone know God is present in this space with you. And as you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you. He sees what no one sees, He hears what isnt said but is cried out by the heart and He will restore you.
I find myself frequently depressed perhaps more so than any other person here. And I find no better cure for that depression than to trust in the Lord with all my heart, and seek to realize afresh the power of the peace-speaking blood of Jesus, and His infinite love in dying upon the cross to put away all my transgressions. Charles Spurgeon
Dealing With Mental Illness
How are Christians to respond to such a convoluted issue? If were honest, we can struggle to know how to appropriately and compassionately respond to someone dealing with this issue. When we insensitively declare mental illness to be only a spiritual issue, we immediately isolate those who are struggling with this. By doing this we unconsciously direct others to a prosperity gospel type of solution, which says, just have enough faith.Keep praying. Even worse, we go so far as to accuse someone of living in unrepentant sin.
We often overlook what the Scriptures teach us. We are body and soul. For someone who is struggling with a mental illness, this means not only are there spiritual solutions to issues, there are also physical solutions. We dont have to be afraid of taking advantage of what God has given us. As we look to Christ as the Ultimate Healer we can take advantage of Christian mental health professionals and counselors and the help that they provide.
The most loving thing that we can do to a person struggling with a mental illness is to honor them enough to acknowledge their struggles. We should love them enough to listen and fight to connect with them. There is freedom in knowing that we cant fully understand each others stories, but in Gospel community we find a way to connect.
10. Proverbs 13:10 By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom.
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Bible Verses About Taking Care Of The Elderly
Bible verses related to Taking Care Of The Elderly from the King James Version by Relevance
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Secular Understanding And Treatment Of Dementia
The secular term for dementia in the DSM-5 is neurocognitive disorder that progressively worsens. It is specified by severity. A person with a mild case needs help with some activities of daily living, such as housework. A person with a moderate case needs help with basics like dressing and eating. A person with a severe case is fully dependent on others for almost everything.
Consider Hank. At age 66, he took a job as a greeter at a big box store. He was a retired accountant and a smart guy. When he started as a greeter, he memorized the locations of many of the items in the store so he could direct customers. But nearly a year into the job, his memory noticeably slipped. His solution? To write information in a small notebook to help him remember things. But then he began forgetting to shave and to get to work on time.
His daughter brought him to a doctor for an evaluation of his cognitive ability. Using the Medical Model, the doctor ordered tests including a blood workup and an MRI, and they ruled out illnesses and conditions other than what his daughter feared most: major neurocognitive disorder due to possible Alzheimers disease. In the Medical Model, a doctor might prescribe an antidepressant for his mild depression and recommend ongoing care in a nursing home.
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I Learnt To Appreciate The Simple Joys In Life
I learnt that life isnt smooth sailing but there are so many things to be thankful for things which I had often overlooked in the hustle of life.
Through the time spent with my Ah ma, I learnt to slow down and appreciate the simple things in life.
Like the eye contact she gave to acknowledge my presence, her tight hand grips, the hmm she would make in response to whatever I just said to her, and all the smiles she gave when she realised that I was looking at her.
There are so many things to be thankful for things which I had often overlooked in the hustle of life.
I became more aware and appreciative of the senses God has given me. The feeling of the sea breeze on my face, the smell of the sea, the music from her radio, her soft hands.
When she fed herself and the food ended up all over the place, I was thankful that she could engage in the task.
When she wet the bed again right after her diaper was changed, it seemed that she knew what had happened and her laughter would lighten the mood.
I learnt to live in the moment and be thankful regardless of the situation.
Alzheimers disease was not something I ever imagined my Ah ma to have. Given the progressive nature of the disease, I never thought that anything good could come out of it.
I rejoice, for now my Ah ma is dancing in heaven with Jesus! And one day I will see her again.