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Are you familiar with the Heidelberg Catechism and its relevance to building resilience as a Christian caregiver in dementia care?

 If not, you're about to discover why it's crucial for navigating the caregiving journey with strength and grace.

Is Resilience Important as a Christian Caregiver in Dementia Care?

7:05 Finding Comfort in Christ's Sovereignty
12:29 Developing Resilience in Dementia Caregiving
24:33 Importance of Educating Yourself in Caregiving

In the marathon of dementia caregiving, resilience is your running mate. Just as runners don't attempt a marathon without training, caregivers need to build resilience to sustain themselves through the long journey ahead. But what exactly is resilience?

It's the capacity to stay strong and hopeful, drawing from your faith and biblical truths to face trials and challenges head-on.

Drawing Comfort from the Heidelberg Catechism

The Heidelberg Catechism, a cherished document of faith, provides profound insights into finding comfort in life and death, highlighting our secure belonging to Jesus Christ. This assurance is especially comforting for caregivers facing the unpredictable waves of dementia care.

The catechism reminds us that not a hair can fall from our heads without God's will, encouraging us to trust in His sovereign plan for our lives and the lives of those we care for.

The Role of Biblical Principles

Key biblical principles like God's sovereignty and the hope found in the gospel of Jesus Christ are foundational to developing resilience. These truths guide us in finding joy and purpose in caregiving, even amid adversity. They also underscore the importance of maintaining our spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being, ensuring we're equipped to provide the best care possible.

Building Resilience in Practical Ways

So, how can you start building resilience today? First, commit to daily prayer and scripture reading, allowing God's Word to nourish and strengthen you.

Next, engage with a supportive community, whether it's a church family, a Facebook group, or a dementia caregiving support group. Lastly, learn to adapt with grace, understanding that change is a constant in dementia caregiving, and flexibility can help mitigate stress.

Joining Forces for Support

For those seeking further support, consider exploring resources like the "Ask the Dementia Coach" segment for personalized advice. Additionally, various levels of community and one-on-one coaching are available to provide targeted help based on your needs.

These platforms offer education, support, and a space to share experiences, making the caregiving journey less isolating.

Embracing the Journey with Faith

Caregiving is undeniably challenging, but with resilience built on the solid foundation of faith and the support of a caring community, you can navigate this journey with hope and grace.

Let the Heidelberg Catechism's message of comfort in Christ's sovereignty inspire you to face each day with renewed strength, knowing you're never alone in this journey.
Remember, building resilience in dementia caregiving isn't just about enduring hardship; it's about growing in faith and witnessing God's faithfulness in every step.

Read More:

The 3 Most Common Mistakes Christian Dementia Caregivers Make

Dementia Caregiving for Families Podcast

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Is Resilience Important as a Christian Caregiver in Dementia Care


Introduction to the Heidelberg Catechism

[0:00] Have any of you heard of the Heidelberg Catechism?
And if you haven't, then you need to listen to today's episode where I talk about the Heidelberg Catechism and we unpack how it is important for us as a Christian to build resilience for dementia caregiving?
And we look at the Heidelberg Catechism a little bit today in answering that question because, yes, it is vitally important for you as a Christian caregiver to build resilience, but we don't talk about that enough.
So listen to episode 104, Is Resilience Important as a Christian Caregiver in Dementia Care?

[0:59] Have you recently found out someone you love has dementia?
Struggling to wrap your head around how to be a Christian caregiver?
Searching for answers by joining countless Facebook groups, but find them toxic.
Learning how to cope with dementia feels difficult, but learning a Christian caregiving worldview can be easy.
Hey, brother and sister in Christ, I'm Lizette, occupational therapist, pastor's wife, turned dementia coach, and a daughter of dementia.
In this podcast, you will learn the truth that the way to make dementia care easy is your faith.
Knowing that a loving God has decreed this hard providence in your life makes all the difference.
Here you will gain skills.
You will be challenged by what God says in His Word about caregiving, and you will learn exactly what dementia is and is not.
Find clarity and certainty from God's Word so you have perseverance for this journey.
Use science-backed solutions and biblical principles to redeem your time.
Praying this blesses you as we dive into dementia from a Christian perspective.
Let's glorify God despite dementia.

[2:26] How many of you might be runners? How many of you might have actually run a marathon?
Well, all I have to say is my hat is off to you because I have never been a runner.
But in today's episode, we are going to explore resilience.
And resilience and running have a lot in common, at least in my mind.
Because when you want to run a marathon, you don't just take off one day and start running and expect to be able to do 26 miles.
You have to build up your tolerance for running.
Well, dementia caregiving is a marathon, and it is important when you are a family caregiver of a person living with dementia to build your resilience for caregiving.
So what we're going to look at today is, is it important for you to build your resilience during a dementia caregiving journey?
And the short answer is yes.

[3:41] Let's talk about resilience. What is resilience?
Resilience is the ability to remain steadfast in the face of trials.
It relies on you being able to draw your strength from your own faith and from understanding biblical principles in order for you to build resilience.
So some of the biblical principles that are important for you to understand when you are building resilience is, firstly, the sovereignty of God, right?
And then, secondly, it's also the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We also need to, when we are building resilience, we have to find our joy.
And our purpose in caregiving. And then while we are building resilience, we also need to maintain our own spiritual and emotional and physical well-being.
So let's look at this in a little bit more detail today.

[4:57] I am from South Africa originally. Most of you guys know that.
And And one of the things, one of the blessings that we have is that we have been able to be in the United States and also know both the Heidelberg Catechism or the three forms of unity and the Westminster Catechism or the Westminster Confessions.
We attend a Presbyterian church here in the United States.
And one of the things that I always go back to when I am, struggling with my faith or when I'm struggling with understanding certain things occurring in my life, adversity, those kinds of things, is the first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism.
And I'm going to read it to you today because I wish I was good at memorizing.

[6:01] Questions and answers of catechisms, but I'm not all that good at that.
But I'm very good at reading them and internalizing, or at least I try to be.
So the first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism speaks about what is your only comfort in life and death?
Did you know that Yet caring for a person with dementia doesn't have to be this hard.
If you are struggling and you would like to join our next free workshop, I invite you to walk away with science-backed dementia caregiving skills that many professionals don't even know after attending this free workshop.
If you'd like to register, message me the word workshop on Instagram or check out the link in the show notes below.

Finding Comfort in Christ's Sovereignty

[7:06] And here is the very comforting answer, that I'm not my own, but belong, body and soul, in life and death, to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.
He has paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and he has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven.
In fact, all things must work together for my salvation because I belong to him.
Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.

[7:59] What a comfort that is for any believer in Jesus Christ.
Because when we are facing a dementia caregiving journey, it is very easy to start to question God's sovereignty.
It's very easy to start to question God's providence and his kindness and his steadfast love to us when we are facing a dementia caregiving journey.
But one of the the things that I wanted to highlight to you today is that everything, everything we go through in our life as a believer absolutely is to help us in our journey, in our sanctification, in becoming more holy.
But one of the things from the Heidelberg Catechism, a couple of things from Heidelberg Catechism that always, always.

[9:04] Strikes me to the core is this statement, not a hair, not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven.
And that is such a comfort to me because, you know, when you take a shower and you just look in the bottom of the shower, right, there's all these hairs that fall all of.
And they're inconsequential. They go down the drain.
But not even one hair can fall from my head without it being the will of my Father in heaven.
And that all things, all things work together for my salvation, which for me was a very difficult realization to come to earlier in my my life because I had a tremendous sense of abandonment when my mom and dad put my sister and I at the tender ages of 10 and 12 in boarding school in South Africa so that they could serve as diplomats in Sweden.
And I struggled with that. I struggled with that so much because Because I did not understand at that point how all things must work together for my salvation.

[10:21] And that realization came to me much, much later on working with a pastor who helped me work through my resentment and my anger and my sense of abandonment.
But I realized then that that has created in me, because it worked together for my good, for my salvation, tremendous resilience, tremendously resilient.
I'm a very resilient person.
Not saying that because I'm bragging, but because I'm resilient in God.
I'm resilient in Christ.
I'm resilient in my assurance of faith.
I'm resilient in being able to just keep putting the next...

[11:13] Taking the next step and taking the next step and taking the next step.
Well, dementia caregiving is a journey in becoming more resilient, becoming more steadfast in the face of trials.
Because yes, dementia caregiving can be challenging.
It can be very challenging. It can provide us with with tremendous trials.

[11:39] I'm not going to lie. There are opportunities in those trials, though.
2 Corinthians 4, verse 16 through 18, speaks about, therefore, we do not lose heart.
But though our outer person is decaying, yet our inner person is being renewed day by day.
For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.
For the things that are seen are temporal or temporary, but the things that

Developing Resilience in Dementia Caregiving

[12:26] are not seen are eternal.
And as hard as a dementia caregiving journey may feel like at times, when you take these two pieces of biblical wisdom in mind, this is too for my good and for his glory.
And so developing your resilience, your ability to be able to run your race effectively.

[13:01] Or your marathon, one step at a time is vitally important for you as a Christian caregiver in dementia caregiving.
So how do we do that? How do we do that?
The first way we do that is through really praying every single day that we have and that God gives us every day what we need for that day, what we need in order to get through that day.
But that doesn't mean that we stop only with prayer.
God gives us the ability to learn.
God gives us the ability to find resources.
God gives us the ability to create community around us.
So that's the second thing. I am very excited to announce this next part of our journey together.
Once a month, on a Thursday evening, I'm going to do a segment called Ask the Dementia Coach, where you can actually come into a coaching session with me and other people.

[14:19] Music.
on your own and may feel like you're at the end of your rope.
And in order to help serve you better, I wanted to open up this opportunity once a month for you to register for a free Ask the Dementia Coach segment.
Like I said, it will be Thursday evenings, once a month, six o'clock Eastern time in the evening.
And the segment is called Ask the Dementia Coach.
So if you're interested in signing up for that, the link will be in the show notes below.

[14:20] If they register for the same time so you can feel what it feels like to actually have dementia coaching.
The reason I'm doing this is because I know so many of you guys are struggling

[15:14] I look forward to seeing you on one of these special sessions.
We have to put a community of people around us. That is our church.
That is our friends.
That is maybe a free Facebook community like mine, which you can join.
I have a free Facebook community called Dementia Caregiving for Families.
Families or other community.
The challenge that we have when we are a dementia caregiver is that we become isolated.
We stop socializing with people because we are 24-hour caregivers.

[15:59] It's really sad to me that we don't think about dementia caregiving sometimes more in the line of of when a family has a baby that's born and mom is tired and overwhelmed and just trying to feed the baby, take care of the baby, find time to sleep.
We as a Christian community come around these young moms when they have baby, but we're not coming around as Christian communities around a family who is a now 24-hour caregiver for a person who is an adult who has cognitive impairment.
So putting community around you, speaking to your elders, speaking to your deacons, asking repetitively for help.

[16:57] Churches are willing to help us. They just don't know how because we're not asking.
We are not asking our church family to come around us.
And quite frankly, churches aren't doing a good job of identifying these people in our pews and stepping up around them and helping them.
There's really very limited ministry to family caregivers of people living with dementia.
And hopefully over time, we'll be able to change that through increasing awareness.
And then the third thing that we need to do in order to help us build resilience is learn to adapt with grace.
Because dementia caregiving comes with lots of daily challenges, lots of daily changes that are occurring, which make a person feel sometimes sometimes a little like your life is out of control.
And I totally understand that. I know it can feel very overwhelming, but I want you to adapt.

[18:06] Gracefully with the changes and not resent the changes and not hold onto and cling to the things that you cannot change.
So what are three action steps that you can take to help you build resilience in dementia caregiving?
Number one is read your Bible. I know how hard it is sometimes when you are a caregiver to carve out even 10 minutes to spend 10 minutes in the word.
I understand that. However, when you're not feeding your spiritual self, it is very easy for discouragement, for depression, for all of those frustrations to take root in our heart.
So I ask you to spend 10 minutes every day just reading your Bible.
If you are a believer and you are a family caregiver who is a family caregiver to another believer, just spend a few minutes every day reading the Word together.

[19:18] Singing very familiar hymns, psalms, spiritual songs, whatever is encouraging to you.
But kind of like when your children were little, don't spend hours, spend minutes doing this every single day, but do it with the person that you love, especially if you live together and if you guys are both believers.
I'll never forget Deb.
Deb is a dear friend of mine who was helping her mom, Alma, and Alma was the most godly woman I have ever met.
Sweet, sweet woman, and Deb was taking care of her at home, and we talked about this a lot in that period of time, that Deb still spent time.

[20:10] With her mom every single day, praying together, reading scripture, going back to the children's catechism instead of longer catechisms, but just kept her mom in the word until her mom passed away.
And I saw such tremendous blessing in that, that it is, you know, often something that I don't think we end up doing later on when somebody has significant cognitive impairment.
We kind of just stop doing that. And I ask that you don't do that, that you continue to be in the word together.

[20:50] The second action step that you can take is you can join a community.
There are different types of community.
You can find a free Facebook group, which is certainly a solution.
The challenge is that those free Facebook groups are not always well curated, and so it depends on where you join, what you might find.
I find a lot of these free Facebook groups to be what I call verbal vomit, where people just go and can express all their frustration and their anger at their situation.
And that is not necessarily a good option.

[21:33] I will invite you today to join.
You can join me now in three levels.
The first one is you can join my monthly membership for $10 a month.
That's $10 a month. You can cancel at any time.
It is going to have one time a month group coaching calls where I will get on and we can communicate face face-to-face in a Zoom room where I will be building out some education.
But it is my lowest level investment to actually work with me and let me get to know you and your family caregivers and your person that you're supporting.
You can join for $10 a month, which is a very low investment.
Kind of just tip your toe in and feel, get a little bit more support.

[22:28] Resources will be in there, but it is just a very easy access way to work with me, but it has not the higher level touch point that some people may need.
The second way you can join one of my groups is a low-cost group coaching program where we have multiple different times per week for you to hop on a a Zoom call, ask questions, get your challenges taken care of.
This is where I'm building out most of my education.
We have implementation days. We work on caregiver wellness.
We work on spiritual aspects of caregiving using biblical principles of care.
And that is the second way that you can work with me.
The third way you can work with me is one-on-one. Obviously, that is a little higher touch point and a lot higher price point, but it is something that if you're interested in, I invite you to schedule a call and we can work together.
So those are three ways that you can join a coaching.

[23:38] Community where you can get actual, real physical support.
And then the third way is if you are not quite ready to do any of those types of investments or resources into yourself, then just continue to listen to this podcast.
Educate yourself about what is happening in the person that you're supporting.
Let's work through some biblical principles of caregiving.
Let us continue to educate you related to dementia and dementia care with some practical skills and tricks and tools through just listening to the podcast or going to some YouTube channels.

Lizette with her mom

Importance of Educating Yourself in Caregiving

[24:25] But educate yourself Because without education, you will not be able to develop resilience over time.
So to recap today's episode, we talked about resilience being the ability to remain steadfast in the face of trials and that we must work on finding joy and purpose in our caregiving in order to develop resilience.

[24:57] We talked a little bit about the providence of God.
One of the things I'm going to be bringing a couple of pastors on who are going to really unpack some of the theological stuff for me, even though I am a pastor's wife.
I'm not a pastor, and I would love to provide you guys with some.

[25:17] Access to really understanding and working through some of the spiritual aspects of being a believer who is a family caregiver of somebody living with dementia.
But to recap again, just to close off today's episode, I'm going to read the Heidelberg Catechism question and answer one again because it it is such a comfort to me.
What is my only comfort in life and death?
That I'm not my own, but belong, body and soul, in life and death, to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.
And he has paid for all my sins with his precious blood.
He has set me free from the tyranny of the devil, and he watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven.
In fact, all things, including dementia, must work together for my salvation because I belong to him.
Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
I hope today that that is your prayer, dear brother and sister in Christ, that you live for him and that despite a dementia diagnosis.

[26:46] We are thankful to God for everything that he has done for us.
And like I and all of my recordings now.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. And please, if you haven't yet subscribed to this podcast, please subscribe to it.
Please give me a written review.

[27:11] On Apple Podcasts. It really does encourage me.
And if you have found any benefit in any of my episodes, especially now that I've switched my focus to truly, truly serve Christian family caregivers, if you know somebody who is struggling with dementia and dementia caregiving, please share these episodes with them and come back and listen to the next episodes.
If you have requests, please send them to me.
I would love to unpack these challenges for us as family caregivers of people living with dementia, and I will see you in the next episode.

[27:57] Thanks for joining me today, Success Seeker. I pour my heart and soul into this program to serve review.
You can serve me by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts and join our free Facebook group, Dementia Caregiving for Families.
It's a positive and proactive space to navigate dementia caregiving together.
Get practical tools and find support, but without the verbal vomit.
Be a part of our community where we seek to find peace of mind and ease, despite the dementia diagnosis.
So join today and see you next time as our flight takes off.

Subscribe To Dementia Caregiving For Families Podcast

If you feel like dementia caregiving is hard and unpredictable and you are struggling to help a spouse or a parent living with dementia, join our next free workshop.

Join our Facebook Group at: 

Become a  Member of Our Exclusive Program!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

About the author

“Think Different” Dementia’s owner, Lizette Cloete, OTR/L graduated as an Occupational Therapist from the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 1992. Lizette has almost 30 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist in a variety of settings, the latest being in the home health environment. She enjoys teaching on the topic of dementia, most recently presenting at a national conference on the topic “Dementia Made Simple”.

Disclaimer: These blogs, videos and any work done by Lizette Cloete OT, as a Member of Think Different Dementia, LLC, is given only as educational content and consulting work. This does not create an Occupational Therapist-Patient Relationship. The educational content and consulting work performed should not be considered medical treatment as an Occupational Therapist. The consulting work does not take the place of medical work normally performed by a licensed Occupational Therapist. Please consult a licensed Occupational Therapist for medical advice.

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