FIND OUT EXACTLY HOW YOU ARE DOING AS A DEMENTIA CAREGIVER

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Have you ever considered how your beliefs and values influence your approach to caregiving for a loved one with dementia? It's an aspect seldom discussed in caregiving circles, yet it affects how we navigate the challenges and decisions that come with the role.

This episode discusses the intersection of faith and caregiving, offering insights and guidance for those on this dementia caregiving journey.

How Your Faith Informs Your Dementia Caregiving Journey

3:40 Worldview and Dementia Caregiving
7:02 The Providence of God
16:13 Worldview in Spousal Caregiving
20:15 Christian Caregivers' Challenge
34:09 Scholarships Available for Program

The Foundation of Caregiving

At the heart of caregiving, especially in the context of dementia, lies the caregiver's worldview. This set of beliefs and values acts like a pair of glasses through which we view and interact with the world.

It shapes our decisions, our reactions to challenges, and our overall approach to caregiving. Recognizing and understanding this foundation can significantly impact how we care for our loved ones.

Guided by Beliefs

Our worldview affects our caregiving journey in several ways. It can dictate our sense of duty, our expectations of ourselves, and our boundaries. For instance, if you believe that caring for your parents surpasses all other obligations, you might prioritize their needs above your own.

Conversely, if your faith emphasizes the sanctity of the marriage bond, this might shape how you balance caregiving with maintaining a healthy relationship with your spouse.

Challenges and Support in Dementia Caregiving Journey

One unique challenge for Christian caregivers, is reconciling the act of caregiving with the belief in God's providence. This belief can sometimes lead caregivers to feel they must face their journey alone, as a test or mission from God.

However, acknowledging that God's providence includes the support and resources He provides through others can open doors to valuable assistance and community.

A Call for Community

Lizette introduces a low-cost group coaching program specifically designed for family caregivers of people living with dementia. This program, rooted in a biblical worldview, aims to equip caregivers with reliable information, foster a supportive community, and provide access to coaching that aligns with Christian values.

It emphasizes that seeking help and supporting each other is not only beneficial but also aligns with a faith that values love, service, and community.

For those feeling the weight of caregiving, remember, you are not alone. Faith can be both a source of strength and a guide to finding the support you need.

Whether through joining a community of like-minded caregivers, seeking out resources that resonate with your beliefs, or simply acknowledging the role your faith plays in your caregiving journey, there's a path forward that honors both your loved one and your spiritual convictions.

Read more: Dementia Caregiver Tips: What You Need to Know About Ethical Decision Making in Dementia Care

Listen to the Podcast

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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.
 https://www.dementiacaregivingmadeeasy.com/wsl

Join our Facebook Group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1301886810018410 

Become a Member of Our Exclusive Program!  https://www.dementiacaregivingmadeeasy.com/start

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senior with his family caregiver

Transcript

Introduction

[0:00] Have you ever heard anybody in the dementia caregiving space talk about how your faith or your worldview will actually inform your caregiving as a dementia caregiver?
I have never heard anybody actually speak about that.
And so today, we are going to unpack a little bit my faith journey and how my worldview, which is like a pair of glasses, has actually informed my own dementia caregiving journey.
And then I have a ask for you at the end of the episode related to being a family caregiver who is a Christian. question.
So listen to episode 97, how your faith informs your dementia caregiving journey.

[1:03] Hey there, success seeker. Welcome to Dementia Caregiving for Families.
Do you feel overwhelmed with the daily struggle of dementia caregiving, looking for an easier path?
You're in the right place. On this podcast, we teach you the skills to simplify caregiving.
We unravel the mystery of dementia and guide you through the often difficult behaviors.
I'm Lizette, your host and fellow family caregiver.
As an occupational therapist, I bring my professional and personal personal experience to this community.
Here we speak the truth, but without the verbal vomit.
I know you will find value in today's program, so buckle up while this flight takes off.

Finding Out I Was Pregnant

[1:59] I will never forget the day I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, Suzette.
She is now 27 years old, grown and flown, and married.
She lives in Tennessee with her wonderful husband, Caleb. Shout out to Caleb.
One of the biggest reasons, other than the fact that this was my firstborn, that I will never forget finding out that I was pregnant with my daughter is that it started my husband and I on a journey related to deciding and or knowing or figuring out what it is that that we were going to teach this new child, this baby, when we brought her into the world when she was born.
And it started my husband on a journey of reflection and returning back to the Lord Jesus Christ as a father because he had finally figured out he needed to import.

[3:15] Some type of a worldview to this child.
Now, this episode today is going to be very different because this is a lot more related to me and my faith journey than it is to dementia and dementia caregiving.
However, having said that, I promise you it is applicable.

Worldview and Dementia Caregiving

[3:40] Why do I say that? because today we are going to look at how your faith or your worldview informs your dementia caregiving journey.
So my husband and I immigrated to the United States 30 years ago, and we did not start our marriage out in the most sanctified and redeemed fashion.
The first three to four four years we were married were, quite frankly, pretty difficult.
And several times, both of us had contemplated leaving the marriage because we did not start our marriage out from a biblical worldview perspective.
But when I got pregnant with my daughter, my husband came to a realization that he and I had walked away from how we had been raised related to faith and faith-based principles from a Christian and Reformed perspective.

[4:43] So after four years of living in the States, we finally started going to church.
We started listening to sermons again, and my husband at the age of 30 was probably converted at that time.
Me, on the other hand, I don't remember ever not believing in Jesus Christ, but I did not grow up in a believing household, and the only person who was.

[5:14] A godly influence in my life was my grandmother, but when you're 15 years old, that could look to you when you're not growing up in a believing family like somebody who is just old-fashioned, right? It's just old-fashioned principles.
They're not biblical principles.
Your grandmother's just just old-fashioned. Well, why is this conversation important today?
Because our worldview, what we believe about the world, informs all of the decisions we make.
Whether we realize that we have a worldview or not, everybody has a worldview.
So a worldview, you can think of as something like a pair of glasses that you put on that makes what you see clear and allows you to make decisions related on your view of the world.
Everybody has a worldview.

[6:24] So today we're going to look at the following in three easy points.
We're going to look at what is a worldview? What does that mean?
Then we're going to look at how your worldview informs your dementia caregiving.
And then the third thing we're going to look at today is one big challenge for family caregivers of people living with dementia when they are Christians.
And this this has been something that is very near and dear to my heart because I.

The Providence of God

[7:03] Because of my worldview and because I believe in the providence of God.
So, we'll look at that in the third point. And then lastly, we're going to talk about where you can find some support and help.
So, the first thing, what is worldview? Like I said, everybody has a worldview.
How do do we know this? Well, you just have to spend a couple of minutes and listen to politics to know that everybody has a worldview related to politics.
Or you can sit down and listen to people who have vastly differing opinions on, say, a sports team, right?
Those are reflections of a person's worldview.

[7:54] 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, the topic of the workshop is Three Tips How to Avoid Challenging Dementia Behaviors Without Stress, Anxiety, or Burnout.
I invite you to walk away with science-backed dementia caregiving skills that many professionals don't even know after attending this free workshop.

[8:36] If you'd like to register, message me the word workshop on Instagram or check out the link in the show notes below.
A general definition of a worldview is a comprehensive perspective through which we interpret, understand, and engage with the world around us.
It includes our beliefs, our values, our principles, and these guide our actions and decisions.

[9:14] So a comprehensive perspective that we look at the world and we understand and engage with the world around us.
It includes your beliefs. It includes your values, your principles, and those guide your actions and decisions.
So, for example, people who have grown up in a part of the world where there is a lot of, say, police violence or things like that may believe because of their principles and values that because of what they've experienced that the police are not there to help serve and protect them.
Them, right? That is their worldview.

[10:06] For example, another worldview can be one, like I said, related to politics. If you grow up in a.

[10:16] Republican household or in a Democratic household where you are taught over time to understand and interpret and engage with the world through a certain lens, like a pair of glasses, right?
And so our worldview will inform how you make a decision as a dementia caregiver. giver.

[10:43] So that brings us to the second point today. How does your worldview inform your dementia caregiving?
Well, I'll use this as an example.
I have had many clients over the years who have believed that caregiving, that they have to do it, right?
Their mom or dad is ill, they have dementia, and they have no choice in the matter.
And when people come into a dementia caregiving journey believing that they do not have a choice, it actually makes their dementia caregiving journey extremely difficult because then they feel like they are a victim of their circumstances.
Circumstances. That is a type of a worldview.
It's looking at the decision, making the decision from a particular lens, from a particular place.

[11:43] Other ways that a worldview informs your dementia caregiving journey.
For example, if your worldview is that your parents and their needs and their desires supersede yours and that you need to put your entire life on hold in order to be a caregiver to somebody who needs help, like your parent, then that is a type of a worldview.

[12:15] So in my particular situation with my husband and I, when we started down this dementia caregiving journey with my mom and dad and in our family, we started making our decisions related to caregiving from a biblical and reformed perspective, because that is our worldview.
What does that mean? That means that 30 years ago, when my husband and I got married, we left my mother and father, and he left his mother and father, and we started a whole new family unit where we left and we cleaved with one another.
We are now one, which means in relation to helping my mom and dad through this latter part of their life, every decision we make, we make through the lens of a biblical and reformed perspective that he and I are the primary unit and that we are more important, our relationship is more important than that of being primary caregivers to my parents.

[13:42] That doesn't mean that we're not willing to help them.
That doesn't mean that we're not willing to to do whatever it takes to provide for their needs.
But what that does mean is that it is subservient to our needs and our decisions.
Our marriage will always remain more important than my relationship with my father and with my mother.
So I know some of you might be thinking, Well, Lisette, the Bible talks about honoring your mother and your father.
Yes, absolutely. The Bible talks about honoring your mother and your father.
And I am honoring my mother and my father.
But I'm honoring my mother and my father within the constraints and within the requirements that are set out to me as the wife of my husband and the mother to my children.
I have a first responsibility to my relationship with God.
And then my second responsibility is my relationship with my husband.
And then all other relationships are subservient to that particular relationship.

[15:07] So every person's worldview will inform their dementia caregiving journey.
How you make the decisions related to your caregiving is going to be dependent on your own worldview, view, whatever that might be.
If it is a biblical worldview and you are a daughter or a son of a parent living with cognitive impairment, your primary relationship and your primary function is to protect the relationship of you and your spouse.
If you still have children in the house, then you are responsible first to them and that family unit before you are responsible to helping your parent.
That doesn't mean that you do not help them. It just means that you have to do it in the right way.

spouse a family caregiver

Worldview in Spousal Caregiving

[16:10] Everybody needs to be on board, specifically your spouse.
If you are a spouse of a person living with dementia, then your worldview informs how you do your dementia caregiving journey with your spouse.
We leave and cleave, and I understand and totally acknowledge that the relationship between a spouse and another spouse, when considering dementia in the life, is vastly different than that of a child.
And I recognize that because you have left and cleaved to your spouse.
But that also doesn't mean that you put the needs of your spouse entirely above the needs of your own health and well-being for the future.
Because not everybody can nor everybody should remain at home, especially if there are significant safety concerns.
And so you may be facing or needing to make a decision related to your spouse to have...

[17:28] Them be considered for an assisted living or an adult day program because it's what's safe for you as well as your spouse.
That doesn't mean that you do not love them.
That doesn't mean that you have abdicated your role as a spouse, but it definitely does mean that your worldview informs informs the decisions that you make.
So for example, I know this is going to sound like a bizarre example, but I have seen this time and time again.

[18:04] For example, if you believe that a marriage is between one man and one woman, and that is for life, regardless of whether somebody has dementia or not, that relationship needs to remain intact, correct?
So I have had experiences working in memory care facilities where a person who is living there who has significant dementia may not recognize their spouse anymore.
Start a relationship of an inappropriate when you're married type of relationship with another resident of the facility.
And if that is the case, the facility has very limited things that it can do to preclude your spouse from having sexual relations with another member of the memory care facility, right?
So if you believe that a relationship is between one man and one woman, one husband and one wife, and you have a husband or a wife that is in a facility that starts an.

[19:18] Extramarital relationship with another person in the facility because they do not.

[19:24] Understand or remember anymore that you are married, then if your worldview says that that is wrong, then your decision needs to be how can you bring your spouse home or how can you take your spouse to a facility that can help guarantee or ensure that that relationship that you have with them is protected, which makes for some difficult conversations.
But that is a way that your worldview, your faith can inform your dementia caregiving journey.
That is the second point.

Christian Caregivers' Challenge

[20:07] Here are a couple of examples of how your worldview informs your dementia caregiving journey.
Now, the third point is something very near and dear to my heart because one of my biggest desires is to serve fellow Christians, fellow believers in the Lord Jesus Christ through this dementia caregiving process and dementia caregiving journey.
One of the biggest barriers I've run into is what I call a challenge or an opportunity, depending on how you want to look at it.

[20:52] From a biblical perspective, it's a challenge.

[20:57] Challenge frequently because Christians who truly have read their Bible and believe the Word of God believe in the providence of God, which oftentimes then will inform their decision to not actually seek help because this is God's will for my life to be a family caregiver of a person living with dementia.
So what is the providence of God?
Well, in a nutshell, the providence of God is that God is sovereign over everything.

[21:40] He made the world, he created the world, he made you and me, and he holds us in his hands.
And everything that happens to us is for our good and for his glory.
In a nutshell, that is the providence of God. I do not believe in chance.
I do not believe in luck. I do not believe in any of those kinds of statements saying, oh, you know, it just happened.
No, a good and holy God has decreed for you to be experiencing a dementia caregiving journey.

[22:31] And not only is it for the good of the person that you are caring for and that you love who is living with dementia, but it is also for your good and it is to glorify God.
Now, how on earth, Lisette, can you say that dementia can glorify God?

[22:53] Dementia can glorify God in so many different ways.
I have seen it time and time again, how a person living with dementia can still glorify God and enjoy him forever despite their dementia journey.
For example, many years ago, I worked in a skilled nursing facility where there was a pastor who had been a pastor for decades.

[23:25] And when he got agitated or upset, if you would give him his Bible, he would settle down.
So even though he was severely impaired cognitively, he still had an awareness that God was God and that the Bible was the word of God and it comforted him.
I've seen hundreds of people who have experienced both as a family caregiver the challenges that come with taking care of a person living with dementia, but who do it with such grace and kindness and and love, that they are an example to an unbelieving world to be able to show God's goodness despite an adversarial type of a situation.

[24:23] But one of the challenges that I have noticed is because frequently people who are family caregivers and Christians are.

[24:33] When they find out somebody they love have dementia, they struggle on their own.
They are not looking for help because they believe this is God's providence.
And it is God's providence.

[24:49] But God has also put people in your life and in the world who have the ability to help you through this process.
It's no different than going and seeing a biblical counselor because you are struggling with a particular sin we are not tasked to do this journey alone yes when somebody is diagnosed with dementia it is god's providence but the bible also talks about the example of i forgot forgot where in the Bible it is, but the gentleman where they asked Jesus who sinned, the blind man or his parents, where the answer to that question was neither.

[25:36] Sometimes something happens not because of our particular sin, although it could.
Did you know that caring 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, the topic of the workshop is Three Tips How to Avoid Challenging Dementia Behaviors Without Stress, Anxiety, or Burnout.
I invite you to walk away with science-backed dementia caregiving skills that many professionals don't even know after attending this free workshop.

[26:26] If you'd like to register, message me the word workshop on Instagram or check out the link in the show notes below.
But not because of our particular sin or the sin of our parent, but solely for the purpose of glorifying God and enjoying him forever.
So if you are a family caregiver of somebody living with dementia and you are a Christian, I beg you to consider not struggling on your own.
There is no reason for you to struggle and go through this journey without help.
There is help available.
The help that I have to offer you is multiple.
You can continue to listen to this podcast where I promise to continue to provide you with as much value as I can within the format that this is.
However, if you are a family caregiver of a person living with dementia and you really are struggling and you are ready for some additional assistance, here is a way for you to find some additional assistance and support.

[27:50] I am tasked, I believe it is 100% my calling, to assist family caregivers of people living with dementia to be able to take this journey and make it easier for you.
I do this in a very simple way in a very simple container.
I have a low-cost group coaching program that I do with multiple family members of people living with dementia that is extremely affordable.
If you join before March 31st, so you still have a few days, if you join by March 31st for a one-time investment as a founding member of this low-cost group coaching program, I promise to walk with you through the lifetime of the person that you are supporting and helping.

[28:44] The community that I'm growing is designed to provide you with three things.
The first thing it provides you with is reliable information related to dementia and dementia caregiving.
And I do all of my education framed from a biblical perspective and worldview.
So you will have the answers to the questions that you have related to dementia and dementia caregiving from a biblical worldview.

[29:22] The second thing I do is I'm creating community for people.
I'm putting people around you who are all walking through this journey together so you do not feel alone.
And then the third part of this, which is the biggest benefit and the biggest part of this program, is the coaching component where you have access to a variety of different times to hop on a Zoom call with other people who have questions related to dementia caregiving, and I answer the questions according to my biblical worldview.
So for example, there have been times in the coaching community where people ask me questions like, well, what about assisted suicide?
And then I answer the question from a biblical perspective.
I have daughters ask me questions about honoring their parents.
And then I answer it from a biblical perspective, which is what does your husband say?
So if you are listening to this, and I resonate with you. You still have a few days to reach out to me and join this group coaching program.
If you are wanting more assistance or more one-on-one assistance.

[30:44] I also do one-on-one consulting with people, and I also offer crisis management.
So if somebody's fallen and they're in the hospital and you need to make sudden decisions very quickly, we have a program that I do with people to help them through that process to best utilize the person that you're taking care of's resources as well as set you on a solid foundation for the future for your caregiving.
So those are three different ways that you can work with me if I resonate with you.
I request that if you are interested, please do not wait until April 1st, because the founding members special, which is a one-time access for you and your entire care circle, goes away on April 1st.
Today's episode airs on March 27th, so you have just a few more days left in order to qualify for this.

[31:53] It is a ridiculous price, and the benefits that you will receive are going to be significantly impactful over an extended period of time.
So to recap today's episode, how your faith informs your dementia caregiving journey, the first thing is we talked about what is a worldview.
So remember your worldview, what you believe, your values, your principles will 100% guide your actions and your decisions.
The second thing we looked at is how your worldview actually informs your dementia caregiving journey, which we talked about what our different roles are and what our different responsibilities are related to our particular worldview will come out in how we make our decisions.
And then the third point we looked at today is a challenge that we have sometimes as a believer in not actually seeking assistance because we believe in the providence of God.
And so therefore, we believe that.

[33:12] Our good and kind father has given us this adversity in our life.
And so therefore, in my funny Lizette comes out in saying that it's the suck it up buttercup principle, right?
So because God has ordained this for me, it's just I need to suck it up, right?
And you do not need to. There are so many resources available to you, and I truly ask you that if you resonate with this, please share this episode with other Christians who might be struggling taking care of a family member living with dementia.
Dementia, this is for you so that we can support you and walk alongside you and do it from a biblical worldview as well as an evidence-based perspective.

Scholarships Available for Program

[34:09] If you do live in South Carolina, I want to invite you to actually reach out to me because I have some scholarships available still for my program.
Until the end of June, I will have some more scholarships related to helping to defray some of the costs that you would be incurring by joining this program by March 31st.
So thank you for listening to today's episode.
I know it was a little bit bit different, talking a little bit more openly about my faith and my faith journey.
And I hope you've enjoyed this. And if you're not a believer, I...
Request that you continue to listen to this program, you will still receive tremendous value.
If you are a believer, please come back. Please like and subscribe to this podcast.
Please share it with people in your church that are maybe a family caregiver of somebody living with dementia.
The other thing I've noticed is we don't talk about it, especially not at church, that we are struggling with people living with cognitive impairment in our households.
Thank you for listening today. And as always, may the Lord bless you and keep you.
And I will see you in the next episode.

[35:38] Thanks for joining me today, Success Seeker. I pour my heart and soul into this program to to serve you.
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 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.
 https://www.dementiacaregivingmadeeasy.com/wsl

Join our Facebook Group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1301886810018410 

Become a  Member of Our Exclusive Program!  https://www.dementiacaregivingmadeeasy.com/start

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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