God Is Greater Than Dementia – Part 1
By Bobbi Junior
Being a caregiver is a tiring, challenging and demanding task, while caregiver burnout is a constant threat. In this series of posts, Bobbi Junior brings her unique perspective to bear on the subject of Christian caregiving.
In this entry Bobbi shares a personal story of her mother’s battle with dementia.
Read Part 2 here.
The War Zone Of Dementia
The year was 2011, and a chilly November had just begun. Snow had mercifully held off until this morning, giving my family the window needed to carry out a task I wouldn’t have believed possible, even a month earlier.
My mother and I had been doing battle in the war zone of dementia for several years now. Together we’d colluded in the pretense that if we put enough strategies in place, Mom would be able to remain independent in her home.
It wasn’t to be, though. Most forms of dementia don’t surrender to treatment or medication, much less reasoning or clever strategies. Dementia soldiers on, relentless, occupying new territory in the brain, changing the horizon, changing the culture, changing everything, until the existence that is, no longer resembles the existence that was.
Mom and I had been going at this as though it were a battle we could win by determination and intelligence. My brother lived several hours away, but when he visited, he joined us in our delusion. In the past few months, though, I’d come to accept the truth. Mom’s mental capacity had been invaded by a silent, formidable enemy. No rescue was going to come. Only support, in the form of…. me.
Often, I’d felt alone in my role as caregiver, but I knew I wasn’t. People were praying. Week after week, month after month, I’d shared our deteriorating situation with my church and together we prayed. And prayed. And prayed. Until one day Mom had, of her own volition, decided it was time to move out of her house and into assisted living.
Only the Lord could have changed her demented thought process to not only make this decision, but follow through on it.
Yes, I helped her carry out all the tasks needed to find a residence of her choice, go through the leasing agreement, have a medical check-up, and plan the actual move. But it was God who kept her mind on track so she was able to move forward. My brother and I had no legal means to make decisions on Mom’s behalf. Even in her demented state of mind, the law was clear.
Mom was in charge of all her affairs.
Looking back, it truly was a miracle.
Words From Joshua
On this particular day, I was reading in Joshua Chapter 1, and found myself in tears.
Joshua was addressing the tribes God had allowed to settle on the far side of the Jordan River, away from where the battles would take place as the Jewish Nation moved in and took possession of the Promised Land. Joshua said to the tribes,
“You are to help them until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land the Lord your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land.
Joshua’s words wrapped around my being like a protective hug. I opened my laptop to my journal.
Bobbi’s program, “Not Me Lord” airs on HopeStreamRadio.
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Neurons in Brain: UC Regents Davis Campus
Praying Hands: Lionel Titu
HopeStreamRadio has been a huge blessing to me. Since I moved away from an area that had a lot of good Christian radio I have been looking for a station that I could listen to and be encouraged by. HSR has filled that void and it has also been exciting to be a part of the team that contributes to HSR.Mike from MS