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A Good Day With Dementia – God Is Greater Than Dementia Part 11

By Bobbi Junior

In this series of posts, Bobbi Junior brings her unique perspective to bear on the subjects of dementia, and Christian caregiving.  In today’s post Bobbi talks about answered prayer and a good day with dementia. Bobbi  demonstrates that God is greater than dementia or any other crisis we may face. She shares how being a caregiver is a tiring, challenging and demanding task, and caregiver burnout is a constant threat.

Read Part 10 here.

Bobbi Junior is a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio, through her program entitled “Not Me Lord.”

Chatting With Jesus

I had a bit of a chat with Jesus this morning about not being swayed from intelligent decisions.

Even with dementia, Mom can be very persuasive at times. And she is, well, my mother! I’ve been conditioned from childhood to respect her, to do what she tells me to do. Mom’s distress, as she tries to settle into Assisted Living is making me feel guilty. Sometimes I accept her accusations as valid, feeling that maybe I did somehow force her to make this move against her will.  I even get tempted to agree with her that she’d be happier back in her house.

When I brought this to Jesus in prayer, though, he filled my heart with memories that stopped this line of thinking in its tracks. I recalled how desperate Mom was, isolated and alone in her house last winter, unable to go out because of the snow and ice. At times she seemed psychotic, obsessed. At one point she flooded the house leaving a tap on overnight. Another time she felt she ought to blow out the pilot light in the furnace because the fire seemed dangerous.

tap-1564536-639x958No. This move was right. I just have to stay quiet and allow her to vent when she needs to. Mine is not to explain or defend Mom’s circumstance. Mine is to simply walk alongside. The Lord has brought her this far in her journey. He’ll watch over her for the rest of it, I’m sure.

Effective Prayers

I prayed on and off throughout the day, realizing again that while I can visit and offer support, nothing I do will make her mind lucid and calm. Only the Lord can do that.

How effective are my prayers, though, on her behalf? I wonder sometimes if Jesus will act in her life in answer to my prayers, or whether she needs to pray herself and ask for help. Mom has never accepted Jesus, that I know of. But given her state of dementia, maybe my faith does cover her. Either way, I will keep praying and trusting that his hand is guiding us according to his will and his promises.

Jesus At Work

I visited Mom after work, and when I arrived it appeared that Jesus had not only heard my prayer, but had worked on Mom’s behalf more than I could have imagined. She was not only lucid. but welcoming and friendly. She asked me again to show her how to work the microwave. (She still can’t do it, but she’s getting closer!) She also shared again her grand idea that Rick and I could move into her house with her. I was going to explain why that wouldn’t work, but Jesus hushed my mouth and gave me a new understanding. Even with dementia, Mom needs to be able to think about future plans and possibilities. Isn’t that where we all find hope when we’re dissatisfied with our circumstances? Imagining what might come in the future.  Instead of shooting down her idea, I listened with interest, and said it was certainly something to think about.

Further in our conversation, she told me that one of the staff had come to take her down to lunch. When Mom moved in here, I was told that when a resident doesn’t show up for their meal, someone checks on them. It seems this is happening. I was very encouraged.

Out For Lunch

Suddenly Mom sat up tall and looked very determined.

“Why can’t I leave this place?” I didn’t get the sense that she meant moving out, but rather, going out.

“You can Mom. Anytime you like. It’s too chilly for a walk today, but I have the car. Should we go out for a bite to eat?”

“Of course we should.”

“I’d like to do that as well. We’ll sign you out at the desk. Then they won’t miss you.”

“What will we eat?”

“Whatever you like!” I answered.

Mom’s lucidity remained intact and she was able to get her shoes and coat on without any difficulty. I picked up her gloves to hand to her, but she couldn’t be bothered with them. Normally Mom is very attentive about dressing appropriately for the weather, and that always includes a hat and gloves. So, as normal as she seemed, there were still some gaps.

“I’ve been here forever, you know,” Mom said as we made our way to the front door. “They haven’t let me out once. I’m so glad you’ve come to get me out of here.”

We walked the few steps down the street to where I’d parked the car.

“See the drug store?” she asked, pointing to the pharmacy on the corner. “Can we go there someday and walk around? Just to look around?”

I didn’t remind her that we’d been there a few days ago. “Of course we can,” I assured her. Making plans and executing them seemed to be giving Mom a source of enjoyment today. I was all for that.

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Moving With Confidence

We drove to Southgate Mall. Mom held my arm as we walked across the parking lot. That, too, was unusual as Mom has always preferred to walk under her own power. I wondered if seeing the other residents accept help was giving her the idea she might try it, too. Holding my arm, Mom moved with confidence. I imagined her leaning on a walker, and wondered if we might arrange to get her one. Something to consider on another day, though. Mom was in charge of this outing, and I would take her lead.

We made our way to the food court. Mom had a clear memory of our last visit to this mall when we’d   purchased a dish of ice cream at one shop and a cinnamon bun at another, then taken them to one of the tables and shared both. We got a cinnamon bun again. Mom really wanted whipping cream, but they didn’t have that. She took the disappointment well, and settled for ice cream once more, choosing chocolate mint. On a cinnamon bun! This was her outing, though, so I was happy to indulge her whims. We shared our treat and chatted a bit, then looked at the clothes in one of the stores. We had to stop to sit on a bench and rest three different times on the way back through the mall. Usually Mom has more energy than that.

Thank You Lord!

I checked the clock as we drew near to Whyte Hall. It was 4:00, which meant rush hour parking restrictions were in place. I explained that I’d need to drop her off at the door as I couldn’t park on the street. She was in good spirits and accepted this easily. “Yes, just drop me off. I’ll get in myself.” Wow! What a difference from a few days ago.

I watched as Mom went up to the door, where a staff member buzzed her in.  It was a joy to see her looking strong and capable. Mom turned and waved and I waved back as I pulled away.

A good visit! Thank You Lord!

Read Part 1 here.

Bobbi Junior

Read and hear more from Bobbi Junior on the contributor’s page. You can also find Bobbi at her website, The Reluctant Caregiver, at

Bobbi’s  program, “Not Me Lord” airs on HopeStreamRadio.

Contact Info

If you have enjoyed reading this post and wish to send us a comment or share a prayer request, please don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know.


Cinnamon Buns –

Bobbi Junior

Read and hear more from Bobbi Junior on the contributor’s page. You can also find Bobbi at her website, The Reluctant Caregiver, at

Bobbi’s  program, “Not Me Lord” airs on HopeStreamRadio.

Contact Info

If you have enjoyed reading this post and wish to send us a comment or share a prayer request, please don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know.


Cinnamon Buns – Keith Syvinski

Tap – Martin Walls

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