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Are you feeling overwhelmed by the multitude of tasks and responsibilities on your plate as a caregiver, especially from a Christian perspective? You're not alone. Many find themselves struggling to balance caregiving with other life duties.

3 Most Common Mistakes Christian Dementia Caregivers Make

In this episode, we uncover three typical mistakes Christian dementia caregivers make and offer guidance to overcome them.

2:45 Personal Struggles of a Family Caregiver
6:05 Mistake 1: Not Planning for Inevitable Changes
14:23 Announcement: Ask the Dementia Coach Segment
15:48 Mistake 2: Neglecting Unique Christian Role
20:52 Seeking Help and Wise Counsel
22:36 Mistake 3: Not Beginning with the End in Mind
29:34 Encouragement to Seek Assistance and Well-Being Assessment

Planning Ahead Is Crucial

The first hurdle often encountered is the failure to prepare for the inevitable changes dementia brings. It's easy to be caught off guard by the rapid progression of this condition, resulting in unnecessary stress and crisis management.

The key is proactive planning, acknowledging that dementia's trajectory will require adjustments in care and support. By anticipating future needs, caregivers can create a more stable and less chaotic environment for both themselves and their loved ones.

Embracing Your Unique Role

The second mistake many caregivers make is not fully embracing their unique role within the Christian framework of caregiving. Your duties as a caregiver are influenced by your relationships—whether you're caring for a spouse, parent, or other family member.

Balancing these roles with your caregiving responsibilities requires careful consideration and often, difficult decisions. Ensuring alignment with your faith and family priorities is essential in navigating this journey with grace and integrity.

Starting with the End in Mind

Finally, many caregivers neglect to begin with the end in mind. It's crucial to consider not just the immediate needs of the person you're caring for but also the long-term impacts on your own life and well-being.

Planning for the future involves contemplating your health, relationships, and spiritual well-being beyond the caregiving years. This foresight can help mitigate the risk of caregiver burnout and ensure that you maintain a balanced and fulfilling life.

Engaging Resources and Support

To aid caregivers in this journey, new resources like the "Ask the Dementia Coach" segment offer a platform for personalized advice and support. Additionally, a caregiving well-being assessment can help identify current stress levels and provide strategies for managing the challenges ahead.

By recognizing and addressing these common mistakes, Christian dementia caregivers can navigate their roles more effectively, ensuring both they and their loved ones receive the care and support needed. Remember, you're not alone in this journey.

Seeking assistance, leaning on your faith, and planning strategically can transform the caregiving experience into one of growth, love, and fulfillment.

Read More:

Walking By Faith: One Christian Caregivers Dementia Care Journey

Listen to the Podcast

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Introduction to Dementia Caregiving Struggles

[0:00] How many of you guys are really struggling to prioritize all your roles, responsibilities, and struggling to juggle everything from a Christian perspective as a dementia caregiver?
Today's episode, we are going to unpack the three most common mistakes Christian dementia dementia caregivers make related to their caregiving.
So listen to today's episode, and if you resonate with me and you need a little bit more assistance or further help, we have a new segment called Ask the Dementia Coach, which will be once a month for an hour where you can hop into a Zoom room with me and you can ask me your specific dementia-related caregiving questions, and we can help get you over the hump and on your way.
So listen to episode 103, The Three Most Common Mistakes Christian Dementia Caregivers Make. link.

[1:18] 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.

Personal Struggles of a Family Caregiver

[2:45] Are you struggling as a family caregiver of a person living with dementia or with trying to prioritize all of your different roles and responsibilities with your caregiving.
I know that I did. When my dad got sick about two years ago, two years and three months ago now, and we were living in Greenwood, South Carolina, and they were living in Greenville, which is about about an hour distance, I know it was extremely difficult for me to juggle all of the responsibilities, of being a wife, a mother, starting a business, being the daughter of my parents, going to church, working full-time, all of those responsibilities with my caregiving responsibilities.

[3:47] And it really surprised me how difficult that was.
And the reason I think it surprised me is because I am actually, by background and training, a formal professional caregiver.
And one of the things that I didn't realize was how much the healthcare system actually throws up barrier after barrier after barrier for family caregivers.

[4:15] But I will tell you that today's episode, we're going to talk about three most common mistakes that caregivers make.
Dementia caregivers in specific, but this is applicable to all caregivers.
Now, Proverbs 3, verse 5 through 6, talks about trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways, acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.
And when I started into this caregiving role, this journey as a family caregiver, that verse clicked.
Goes through my head all the time, because it can be challenging to juggle all of your responsibilities.
But I have to lean not on my own understanding and understand that the Lord will provide everything that I need as I am going through this particular journey.
So the three Three sections that we're going to look at in today's episode are the three most common mistakes I see family caregivers make.
The first one is not planning ahead for the inevitable changes.

[5:39] The second one is not considering your unique roles and responsibilities as a Christian family caregiver. giver.
And the third one is not beginning with the end in mind and not specifically related to the end of the person that you're caregiving's life,

Mistake 1: Not Planning for Inevitable Changes

[6:03] even though that plays a part of it.
So let us start today's episode with the first point, which is not planning ahead for the the inevitable changes.
Now, we know for a fact that if you are helping a person living with dementia, you are facing inevitable changes.

[6:27] Being an ostrich and sticking our head in the sand and saying, I don't want to deal with it, is not a solution to this particular problem.
And it is something I see very many of my family caregivers doing.
They are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information out there related to dementia and dementia caregiving, that it's almost easier to just wait, to wait for the changes, to wait to see what happens, to hope that if you ignore the problem, it will go away.
And the only way the problem goes away when you are a family caregiver of somebody living with dementia is if they pass away immediately or shortly after being diagnosed, right? right?
So we know without a shadow of a doubt that dementia is going to change how people process information and that if you live long enough with a dementia process, that you will need 24-hour supervision because you're not thinking properly anymore.

[7:45] People tend to just see mom doesn't remember or dad doesn't remember or my husband doesn't remember.
That's the thing we see.
But the reality of the matter is the short-term memory problems are only the tip of the iceberg.

[8:06] Dementia changes how we process information.
And our brain is like a computer, right? Our brain is able to process a lot of information very quickly to keep us safe, to keep us thriving and surviving.
That's what our brain is designed to do.
So as we live with a dementia process, though, we know it changes how people think.
We know it changes how they process information, how they look at a problem.
Can they actually problem solve?
All of these types of specific changes are going to be inevitable.

[8:52] When we do not then stop and just say that out loud and say, changes are going to happen, I don't know exactly how long it's going to take before a certain change occurs, But I know that it is coming.
And if we don't stop and actually plan for these changes, we actually cultivate for ourselves as family caregivers increased stress, increased uncertainty.

[9:26] Increased problems with our own health because we're constantly scrambling, increased difficulty with our own relationships, whether it be with our spouse, if you are a daughter or a son of somebody living with dementia, or if it is a husband and wife with your relationship with your adult children, If we do not actually plan and talk about the fact that these changes are going to inevitably occur, we put ourselves up for failure.
That is what we end up doing, because what will occur in lack of a plan is something is going to fill the void, and it will be the crisis.
It will be when something occurs, we have to stop doing everything that we are doing to actually now take care of the problem. And I understand that.

[10:32] A lot of people do not want to plan for these inevitable changes for multiple reasons.
One reason I commonly see people say is, I don't have time right now to plan for it.
Well, the reality is, no, none of us have time.
Everybody only has 24 hours a day. And if you're like anybody I know, we live in a super busy world, but we always, always find time to prioritize the things that are important to us.
So if you are a family caregiver of somebody living with dementia and you are dedicated to attending worship on Sundays, you will prioritize prioritize, and quite rightfully so, prioritize going to worship and put into place structures and systems in order to allow you to do that.
I knew a woman living in South Dakota who prioritized going to the gym.
It didn't matter what occurred throughout the day. It was a priority she would go to the gym.
It was important enough for her to move around all of her other obligations in order to prioritize the time to go to the gym. So we take.

[12:01] We prioritize what is important to us.
So time is something that we all only have the same amount of time.
But when you stop and just make the time to actually plan ahead, you become a better steward of your ability to be a family caregiver, being faithful in what you are given, which which includes your time and your physical resources, right?
So stopping and planning ahead for the changes that are inevitably going to occur is something that many family caregivers delay and delay and delay, which ultimately results in a crisis, a stressful situation, situation uncertainty.

[13:00] However, having said that, if you are currently in that crisis situation, please reach out to me.
I do crisis management, which is a short-term intervention where we work together to come up with your plan to prioritize what needs to occur.
Typically, when I work with people related to this, it is when somebody is in a crisis situation.
Mom fell, she's in the hospital, she broke her hip. What do we do now?

[13:38] How do we negotiate this process? She has dementia. She's been living alone.
All of these kinds of things. So we can do a short course of intervention of dementia coaching, where I will coach you through how to actually problem solve this on your own so that you know what to do and we can get you through the crisis.
My long-term goal is that we don't need to live in the crisis that we've actually planned ahead.
So that's the first most common mistake family caregivers make when they are

Announcement: Ask the Dementia Coach Segment

[14:17] helping somebody living with dementia is not planning ahead for the inevitable changes.
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 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 on your own and may feel like you're at the end of your work.

[15:08] 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, 6 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, and I look forward to seeing you on one of these special sessions. to us.

Mistake 2: Neglecting Unique Christian Role

[15:49] The second part is not actually considering your unique role as a Christian in your caregiving journey.
Now, what on earth do you mean by that, Lizette?
Well, when you are helping somebody living with dementia, it changes your world. I'm not going to lie.

[16:11] It does change your world. It is a process that comes with multiple challenges.
However, it also comes with multiple opportunities to look at things a little bit differently.
But when you're a family caregiver of somebody living with dementia, you have to start with your your own unique roles and responsibilities.

[16:36] Because depending on your own unique role and responsibility, that changes how you make your decisions.
For example, leave and cleave.
If you are a daughter or a son of a parent who has dementia and you are married, you left your birth family that you grew up in and cleaved to your spouse and you are now a different family unit, which means your unique roles and responsibilities start with your own family.
How does that relate to dementia and dementia caregiving?
Well, for example, if you're a daughter and you're supporting parents, but your husband is not on board, we have to get your husband on board or else by the time you are through this dementia caregiving process, you will have lost your marriage.
You have left and cleaved to your spouse, so you and your spouse have to be 100% in agreement related to how and what you are willing to do.
And if your spouse is not on board, then as a Christian wife, it is our responsibility to come up with a different plan.

[18:03] No, I'm not saying throw mom and dad under the bus. I don't want you hearing that, but it does mean that we have to have some.

[18:12] Very frank and open conversations about what does it look like to now, as an adult child of a person living with dementia, to still honor my parents and provide the assistance that they need.
It doesn't mean that that assistance is necessarily me, but it needs to be provided.
So you have to start with your own role and responsibility.
If you are a child of a parent living with dementia and you still have children in the house, you have divided responsibilities.

[18:51] You have to first take care of your own children and nurturing them and raising them as well as honoring your parents and taking care of them.
So we have to know what each person's unique role and responsibility is in order for us to do the first one, which is plan for the inevitable changes, right?
If you are a spouse of a person living with dementia, your unique roles and responsibilities are different than a child child who has unique roles and responsibilities.
So as a spouse, we have to look at what that looks like.
What are your unique roles and responsibilities that you have that we need to consider in your dementia caregiving journey?

[19:44] So I want you to stop, and when you are thinking about this, I want you to consider a couple of things.
I want you to consider really praying about this, praying about what your unique roles and responsibilities are and which ones you have to do and which ones do you want to do and which ones are things that you can perhaps put aside side for a season in your life and seek wise counsel.
If you are not reaching out to your leadership in your church and telling your leadership, your deacons and your elders or your pastor that you were helping and supporting somebody living with dementia, how can the church put its arms around you and help you because without that knowledge the church is in the dark it doesn't know that you have a particular need it doesn't know that you have a particular.

Seeking Help and Wise Counsel

[20:52] Request for help, somebody to maybe come sit with your spouse so that you can go attend worship services.
So really consider seeking wise counsel in your church.
Churches are willing to help you, but they need to know what it is that you need.
And you cannot just say, I need help. You need to to be very specific.
I need help with meals twice a week for two months or three months, or I need somebody to come sit with my parents so that I can go to the doctor, whatever it is.
So seek wise counsel and ask for help.
So the second most common mistake dementia caregivers make is not not considering their unique roles as a Christian when they are thinking of their caregiving journey.

[21:53] Did you know that 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

Mistake 3: Not Beginning with the End in Mind

[22:33] out the link in the show notes below.
The last point today we're going to talk about is not beginning with the end in mind.
Now, what on earth do I mean by that?
I mean that we always think about our caregiving journey in terms of the person that we are taking care of.
And I mentioned earlier in today's episode is that there are going to be inevitable changes.

[23:08] And all of us know that any human being that is alive, unless the Lord returns, we are all going to pass away.
It is inevitable that we are going to die unless the Lord comes again.
So we know a couple of things related to dementia and dementia caregiving.
Number one, we know things are going to change. And number two, we know that the person who is living with dementia is going to pass away.
Because I'm going to pass away. I don't know when it is going to be, but I do know that at some point or another, I will be passing away.

[23:47] So I always start my conversations with family caregivers of people living with dementia with beginning with the end in mind.
And beginning with the end in mind means beginning with what do you as the primary caregiver, the primary care partner of a person living with dementia, what do you want your life to look like considering your roles, your responsibilities, your own God-given talents, your own health, your own well-being, what do you want that to look like when you are done with your dementia caregiving journey?
So if you are a spouse and you are in your early 70s and your husband has dementia.

[24:41] What do you want your life to look like when your spouse passes away?
What do you want want your relationships to be like with your children, with your grandchildren?
What do you want your own health to look like?
Many, many family caregivers.

[25:02] Have lost their own health, their physical health in this process.
And even though 1 Timothy 4 verse 8 talks about bodily training being of some value, taking care of our bodies being of some value, and godliness is a value in every way as it holds promise for the present life, but also for the life to come.
We do, as good stewards of our body, need to take care of ourself as well through this dementia caregiving process.
But we also and primarily need to take care of our spiritual health through this dementia and dementia caregiving process.
What I see frequently happening is people who are supporting somebody living with dementia, they stop coming to church and getting fellowship of the saints around them because it is too difficult to bring that person living with dementia to worship with you.
And yes, I understand that brings some challenges, but I also want to encourage you to think about alternative solutions so that you can actually take an hour or two once a month, a couple of times a month, to come to worship and have somebody else take care of the person that you are helping.

[26:29] So I also want you as a daughter of somebody or a son of somebody living with dementia to consider when your journey is through, because dementia is a marathon. It is not a sprint.
It could be a year. It could be five. It could be seven years.
I have a lady in my coaching program who has been a primary family caregiver for 19 years.
Yours so if you don't start with the end in mind if you do not consider what your own health what your own relationships what your own physical and spiritual well-being will be at the end of this journey we have set you up for failure so i really want you to consider today these three three mistakes that we tend to make when we are family caregivers, particularly Christian family caregivers of a person living with dementia.
We make these three mistakes all the time. We don't plan ahead for the inevitable changes.
We do not consider our own roles and responsibilities as a Christian wife, mother, daughter, whatever it is, in our framing of our decisions when we are making these decisions because we typically live fire to fire.

[27:53] And the third thing is we never, never start with the end in mind.
We don't look at what we want our lives to look like when we are done as a family caregiver.

[28:03] Now, I have done all of these things, not perfectly for sure, in my own life.
My husband and I are planning ahead for the inevitable changes that we know are occurring in my life with my mom and dad.
We have sat down numerous times, not just once, and talked about it.
We actually talked about it this past week, driving up to my daughter for Easter.

[28:29] I'm recording this the Tuesday after Easter, and we had a conversation again in the car.
Are you on board with helping to take care of my parents? My dad is an atheist.
We see this as the one and only opportunity to witness to him because we cannot have conversations with him about our faith anymore because it becomes too adversarial.
So we constantly are revisiting, are we maintaining our roles and responsibilities as Christians throughout this journey?
And we have started considering keeping the end in mind.
What do I want my life, my health, my relationships to look like?
And we frame every decision we make through these three lenses all the time because it helps to keep us on track.
It's kind of like that lighthouse in the distance when you're on water and you're trying to find land or you're trying to miss the rocks underneath the water

Encouragement to Seek Assistance and Well-Being Assessment

[29:31] so you can't shipwreck your boat.
So I ask you if you are struggling and you need help to please reach reach out to me.
You can go to my website.

[29:46] There are multiple ways. The links are in the show notes below where you can take a quick caregiving well-being assessment to see where you are throughout this journey right now in your own stress levels related to caregiving, specifically related to caregiving.
And then if you are in the red zone where you are really having a hard time, there's a way for you to connect with me and we can set up a quick.

[30:19] Assessment, a conversation to see how we can help you along your way.
And if you are listening to this episode today, at the end of the month, I have started a new way for you to connect with me.
There is a way that you can come on the Ask the Dementia Coach segment and we can talk.
It'll be be in a Zoom room with other people, but I'm gifting everybody this an hour a month to actually come on board and talk to me. I love serving people.
I love helping people through the dip, and then we can get you on your way.
So yet again, three common mistakes dementia caregivers make, specifically Christian dementia caregivers, not planning ahead for the inevitable changes, changes, not considering your unique roles as a Christian, and not beginning with the end in mind.
Thank you so much for listening to today's episode.
I am super excited to be here, and as I will now end my podcasts, may the Lord bless you and keep you.

[31:33] Thanks for joining me today, Success Seeker. I pour my heart and soul into this program to 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.
It. 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.

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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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