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How Do You Find Strength and Comfort in Scripture During Tough Times?
In times of hardship, such as when a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, finding solace in scripture and hymns can be profoundly comforting.

The hymn "When Peace Like a River" embodies this sense of calm amidst life's storms, reminding us that spiritual grounding can bring immense peace and resilience. Drawing on biblical wisdom and the soothing words of hymns can help anchor us, offering strength and perspective when facing the challenges of dementia caregiving.

0:58 Coping with Dementia Diagnosis
2:25 Running a Marathon of Resilience
4:56 Finding Comfort in Heidelberg Catechism
7:05 Assurance in Faith and Resilience
12:29 Biblical Wisdom for Dementia Caregiving
13:09 Building Resilience in Caregiving
23:07 Options for Joining a Coaching Community

Building Emotional Resilience in Caregiving

Caregiving, particularly for a loved one with dementia, often involves emotional highs and lows. Stories of families gathering to sing and share moments, even in times of significant change, highlight the power of community and shared faith.

These experiences underline the importance of emotional support, which can be bolstered by engaging in community and spiritual activities. Embracing these resources can transform our emotional landscape, providing a buffer against the inherent challenges of caregiving.

Practical Strategies for Everyday Strength

To practically apply this spiritual and emotional grounding, incorporating daily scripture reading and prayer into your routine is essential. Creating a prayer journal can serve as a valuable outlet for expressing feelings and reflecting on the journey.

This practice not only helps in managing the day-to-day stresses of caregiving but also enhances your spiritual well-being, reminding you of the ongoing support from your faith community and God’s enduring presence.

Conclusion

Navigating the journey of dementia caregiving is undeniably challenging, but it also presents an opportunity to deepen one's faith and reliance on spiritual practices.

By grounding oneself in scripture, participating in hymn singing, and maintaining a routine of prayer and reflection, caregivers can find the necessary strength and peace to manage their responsibilities. Remember, you are not alone in this journey—spiritual resilience and community support are always available.

Read More:

Walking By Faith: One Christian Caregivers Dementia Care Journey

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Transcript

Introduction to the Heidelberg Catechism

[0:01] Have you ever had a hymn that when you hear the words of the hymn or you see the words of the hymn that it takes you right back to a very special, very specific time in your life?
Well, today's episode, we are going to look at how sometimes being grounded in scripture is so vital to our comfort and our guidance.
And I use the hymn, When Peace Like a River, to bring home a point related to being grounded in scripture.
So, check out today's episode.

Coping with Dementia Diagnosis

[0:58] Have you recently found out someone you love has dementia? 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.

Running a Marathon of Resilience

[2:25] I will never forget the wonderful opportunity that I had, oh, probably six or seven years ago, maybe even longer now, where I helped a close friend and her family move her mom, who was living with end-stage dementia, from her mom's house, where she had lived her entire marriage to her daughter's house in Pittsburgh.
And it was a unique situation because her mom had been living halfway between her two daughters, and her two daughters were extremely dedicated to helping their mother, who was living with dementia, stay in her home as long as possible.
So the two daughters took turns and would spend a week at mom's house and a week back at home, and they had a paid caregiver that took another week.
It was a unique experience because the family wanted to do one last wonderful experience with the grandmother, the matriarch of the family, in the family home.
And so our role for the weekend was to come, to visit together.

[3:55] To help her grandmother, her mom, the grandchildren, everybody got to say goodbye in her mom's home.
And this was Easter weekend.
And it was a tremendously humbling experience because I was, in essence, an outsider in this family, watching them say goodbye to Granny's house, to the house the girls had grown up in, and moving her mom from that house to her house for the end period of her life, which I believe was another four or five months after she moved.
And my role in the situation was to help them actually physically get her mom, who was bedridden, into a vehicle and transported to Pittsburgh.

Finding Comfort in Heidelberg Catechism

[4:50] Now, what I remember about the weekend was, despite the.

[4:58] Undercurrent of loss, which people were saying goodbye to her house, to grandmother in her house, there was, despite that, a significant undercurrent of joy and emotional resilience and and peace and calm.
Now, I tell you this story today as we are looking at where a family caregiver of somebody living with dementia can look for emotional support, because it is difficult to find emotional support when you are helping somebody sometimes living with dementia.
And as a Christian, I want to encourage you to look for this particular type of support, not only out in the community.
And that we're going to talk about some strategies and some recommendations for you here in a minute.

[6:06] But we're going to look at where you can find this piece that surpasses all understanding from putting a holistic plan in place for yourself.
So today's episode, we're going to look at in three simple points.
We're going to look at grounding yourself in scripture for comfort and guidance.
We're going to look at the difference between Christian dementia coaching and biblical counseling, and we're going to look at the importance of maintaining your spiritual health as a caregiver. giver.
So to the first point, grounding yourself in scripture for comfort and guidance.

5 Steps for Children of Dementia to Care for Parents at Home 2

Assurance in Faith and Resilience

[6:57] Now back to my friend and her story related to moving her mom from her house to her other house.
This has been, like I said, six, eight years ago, and there is still to today a particular hymn that when I hear this hymn sing, I start to cry.
And I start to cry for joy, for having been a part of a family's situation where I'm.

[7:32] I was a fly on the wall, but I was able to experience this occurrence in their life with them.
As we were saying goodbye to her mom in her house, and she was bedridden, we were able to bring all of her grandchildren, all of her children, all of the in-laws and everybody around her bed.
And the family sang on Easter Sunday, when peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll.
Now, whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul.
And like I said to today, it is still well with my soul, every single time I hear or sing that particular hymn.
And so when you are grounded in scripture, and when you are grounded in hymns and psalms that you can sing to comfort yourself, in a dementia caregiving journey as a believer, it can make a tremendous, tremendous difference, in how you emotionally experience this particular journey.

[9:00] I remember a couple of weeks ago, I had an opportunity of being with another family and.

[9:10] We sing Amazing Grace, and even though the person living with dementia has significant difficulty with vocalization and speech.

[9:23] She smiled as we were singing this, and she used to sing in the choir.
So a practical plan for you to be able to actually ground yourself in scripture for comfort and guidance is you have to make it a part of your daily routine.
You need to incorporate scripture reading and praying into the fabric of your journey as a dementia caregiver.
And I realize how hard a statement that is because many people who are family caregivers of somebody living with dementia or is a family caregiver of anybody, oftentimes feel like they do not have time.
And I know it is sometimes challenging to create these moments for yourself, but you are on a marathon journey.
You are not on a sprint. And kicking the can down the line in not creating and And making these periods of time for yourself, for your spiritual well-being, will be a significant, be significantly detrimental to yourself.

[10:49] One of the things that I started doing is I sit every single morning and I read my Bible.
And I recently started a prayer journal.
I have never been a journaler before. and shout out to my sister.

Emotional Support In Alzheimer's Caregiving

[11:04] She told me to start to journal during this caregiving journey that I am on with my mom and dad, and I'm extremely grateful to that because it gets it out of my head and onto a piece of paper, and then all of a sudden, it's not quite as overwhelming anymore.

[11:23] So in the mornings, I read. I write down a couple of scriptures that speak to me, and then I pray through those scriptures lectures, myself in my prayer journal, and I just pour my heart out to the Lord about my thoughts, about my feelings, about caregiving, about my frustrations.
Sometimes with being a caregiver, I'm human, I get frustrated.
But for the most part, I really work on trying to take those emotions, take that baggage that I'm carrying and put it on paper to get it out of me so I don't become resentful.
And then I reflect it back to God.
And he has been so gracious related to this particular practice that I have started, because now I can look back and I can see the answers to prayer that I would not necessarily have noticed if I was just doing a fleeting prayer here or there.

Biblical Wisdom for Dementia Caregiving

[12:29] I am very excited to announce this next part of our journey together.

[12:36] 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 to a coaching session with me.

[12:52] Music.

Building Resilience in Caregiving

[13:08] 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.

[13:26] 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, and I look forward to seeing you on one of these special sessions.
Now, I 100% know sometimes this isn't possible for everybody, but I do know that most of us do have time throughout the day for something.
So it might look a little bit different than what it normally does.
Many of us now have churches that live stream their worship services or prayer meetings or those kinds of things.
So if you cannot, you know, sit down because you're running, doing laundry, trying to take care of all of this different stuff.

[14:31] Something you could consider doing is, you know, listening to your church worship services, watching them on YouTube, but not watching them, but just kind of listening to them like a podcast.
Or you could actually access a site like Sermon Audio.
So Sermon Audio is a great app that you can put on your phone where you can look up specific pastors or specific scripture verses or lots of different ways of looking for.

[15:05] Edifying and supportive sermons. And then you can listen to a sermon, for example, Tim Keller or, oh, good grief, I've forgotten who I wanted to say.
But, you know, all of these giants that we are aware of, that we're not always able to listen to them, you can listen to sermons using an app like sermon audio.
So that's another practical way to incorporate grounding scripture, grounding yourself in scripture for your own comfort and guidance.
The second point that I'm going to highlight today is using Christian dementia coaching, or if you're not able to, if you don't want to do dementia coaching to consider biblical counseling.
Now, they are similar but entirely different.
What are the differences? So, what is a dementia coach?
A dementia coach is a coach, and most of us have been around kids growing up, right?
Or I used this in the workshop I did this past week that when you want to be an elite level.

[16:33] Athlete. If you want to get to the Olympics, you start early, you start often, and you have coaches.
You have coaches who have either succeeded in becoming an Olympic athlete themselves that's finished with their Olympic career and now they're coaching you so that you can become successful successful as a elite level Olympian, or if you are a different sports person, you know, in a different sports, diving, or, you know, football, or any of these other types of sports, you put coaches around your kid who you think has the potential to achieve that outcome. Now, what is the outcome?
The outcome for coaching is becoming good at that sport or obtaining that reward in the future. what is the purpose or the outcome of dementia coaching?

[17:35] The purpose or the outcome of dementia coaching is your caregiver wellness and well-being as a family caregiver of somebody living with dementia when you are finished with your journey, when you have gotten to the other side of your journey, because there is life after dementia, and we don't talk about life after dementia.
We're in the trenches. We are, you know, struggling with the day-to-day, the constant ever-rolling stream of dementia, caregiving, the changes, the difficulty with just trying to keep up.
And so we do not even think about starting with the end in mind, which is there is another side.

[18:27] To this journey when you get through it. So a dementia coach is somebody who is experienced in dementia caregiving, either because they have personal experience or they have professional experience or they have both, which is what I have.
I am both a daughter of two parents living with cognitive impairment, and I have 30 years of professional background related to dementia and dementia care.
And now I am coaching specifically Christian family caregivers who want to navigate a dementia caregiving journey in a Christ-centered, God-honoring, and spirit-led led fashion to specifically work on decreasing caregiver stress.

[19:24] Caregiver burnout, and managing these day-to-day challenges so that when you get to the other side of this journey, you will have redeemed your time together with the person that you are caring for, as well as redeemed your time related to your relationships and very specifically your own caregiver well-being.
So that is a dementia coach or a Christian dementia coach.
Now what is a biblical counselor?

[19:58] A biblical counselor is somebody who has been trained by a variety of different means in counseling a person from a biblical perspective.
Now, why is that so important?
Because even though psychology and, you know, the world type of interventions interventions have value.
They absolutely have value.
They're coming from a totally different worldview than you if you are a Christian.
For example, when you are a biblical counselor, and I'm just making up an example, but if you are a biblical counselor, you are working with and you're working with somebody whose husband is stepping out or having an affair, and you're counseling the wife or marriage counseling for the two parties, all of the recommendations, all of the strategies, all of the skills that you are working on all come from a biblical worldview perspective and not from a.

[21:25] Regular worldview, non-biblical, non-Christian worldview perspective.
So, a biblical counselor, when you are working, when you are a family caregiver for somebody living with dementia, when might this be an adjunct to dementia coaching?
Well, a good example, and I can use myself as an example, it is not the case.
But if I had not gotten to the point where I wasn't harboring resentment against my father for putting us in boarding school when I was 12 years old, because it was almost like being abandoned and there was a lot of drama, relationship drama.
We did not have a good relationship.
If I had not gotten to the point where I could have let that go before I could be an effective family caregiver, if I was still angry and upset in my heart related to what, quote unquote, was done to me, then I might not be able to be an effective family caregiver because of the baggage that I was carrying.
And I'm not meaning baggage in a negative sense, but baggage related to hurt.

[22:55] Did you know that caring for a person with dementia doesn't have to be this hard?

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Options for Joining a Coaching Community

[23:02] 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 today.

[23:25] If you'd like to register, message me the word workshop on Instagram or check out the link in the show notes below.
Living in a sin-cursed world. And so a biblical counselor in that particular case would not necessarily be able to counsel me or help me related to the dementia changes that my dad has, but they would be working with me on my emotional response and working through that hurt in a biblical fashion so that I would be able to actually, help and be a family caregiver to my father.
There are times when a person should not be a family caregiver or the primary caregiver of a person living with dementia.
And I know this may not be a popular topic, but I don't believe that if a person has been physically abused or molested or any of these types of situations that you are obliged as a family member to provide that and.

[24:51] Physical one-on-one care to a person if they were the perpetrator of that particular sin.

[24:58] So why, you know, we just talked about what is a dementia coach.
We also just talked about what is a biblical counselor.
And I hope you can see that even though they are similar, there will be some overlap because we're both coming from a biblical perspective.
The role of a biblical counselor and a dementia coach, a Christian dementia coach, are entirely different.
And some people may only need a dementia coach.
Some people may only need a biblical counselor if they have all of the skills already to navigate the dementia caregiving journey, and some people may need both.
So some practical tips for you if you are in this particular situation where you might actually need a Christian dementia coach, I would love to invite you to a new offering that I have once a month.
It will be on a Thursday evening, and this episode airs on April the 19th.
And the first, very first Ask the Dementia Coach session will be on Thursday.

[26:25] April the 25th at 6 p.m. Eastern Time.
Now, the only caveat is because it is in a Zoom room, you do have to register or else there's no place for you to join.
So if you want to find out what it is to actually get coaching, dementia coaching.

[26:49] I invite you to register for our free Ask the Dementia Coach session, which the first one is April 25th at 6 p.m.
Eastern Time, and the link for that will be in the show notes.
You can come depending on how many people are there. You can ask me questions.
I will give you feedback.
I will help you with a particular struggle that you have, and you can see what it feels like to actually receive coaching, dementia coaching.
Now, the third point for today is we need, as Christians, to maintain our own spiritual health in dementia caregiving.
Now, one of my biggest frustrations, and to be very frank, quite a big sadness, is that too many churches do not...

[27:50] Help and support the family caregivers who are 24-hour caregivers of a person living with dementia so that they can actually attend worship or that their family can attend worship.
It has been my experience through the years that families withdraw, spouses in particular, withdrawal when a spouse is demonstrating these changes because there is such a social stigma to it.
And for a variety of reasons, we do not want to embarrass our spouse.
We do not want them to feel embarrassed when their social skills have changed or if they keep asking the same questions.
There are a lot of reasons why like I said in particular I've noticed this to be very true with spouses that they withdraw when they are a family caregiver a spouse of a person living with dementia but on the flip side I also really blame the churches and I'm going to throw myself under the bus too I haven't done a good job of reaching out to people in my own congregation that I'm aware have these challenges in their households.

[29:16] And part of, you know, my excuse, and it is an excuse, is I'm trying to start a business, I have a podcast, and I'm a family caregiver of people, two parents living with cognitive impairment.
But it really isn't an excuse. I need to make it a priority to help my brother and sister in Christ maintain their own spiritual health in caregiving.
Now, what I find super interesting is that when a family has a baby, we all come around, mom and dad, and bring meals and offer to babysit older siblings or come up with all sorts of support systems for families who are in the midst of bringing a baby home that requires.

[30:09] Very similar care, 24-hour, both cognitive and physical care to the family.
And we provide that level of support to them.
But when it's an adult, we're not doing that for a variety of reasons.
So in order to maintain your own spiritual health in a caregiving journey, it has to be a part of the routine.
It needs to be part of the tapestry of your life.
And go back to point number one where we said you have to incorporate it every single day into your daily routine or else it will just fall by the wayside.
And we need to work on helping you as a family caregiver attend worship.

[31:06] Helping you as a family caregiver to bring the person you love and help to worship services with you.
Churches need to consider having a room that has almost like a cry room, but a room with maybe the sound system, maybe a person who can sit with the person living with dementia so that the family caregiver can be in worship and not watch them the whole entire time.
So I feel like there's so much that we could be doing as churches, as Christians, walking and supporting one another in this journey that we have just started to explore and just started to scratch the surface because this is becoming a more prevalent problem as people are living for longer.
And so I want to encourage you as a family caregiver of a person living with dementia to really not isolate yourself. self.

[32:17] It's the analogy I would use is, you know, when you have coals from a fire that are all together, they stay warm and the flame continues to grow, right?
There's everything, those coals help one another.
But if you take one little coal and you scrape it off to the side and it goes and lays on its own, what happens to it over time? It dies.
And so I want us to encourage families who are helping somebody with dementia to not isolate themselves and end up dying because it.

[33:02] They weren't part of the body. But I also want to encourage the body to, if you have a coal being isolated by itself, go get it. Bring it back into the fold.
Jesus talks about, you know, if you lose one sheep, to leave the 99 and go find that one sheep.
And I'm not, I know that has to do with a sinner.
You know, one sinner repenting is very important.
But what my point is, is that the shepherd wants us to bring people into the fold and keep them safe. And when they're isolated in a dementia caregiving journey, they are not being fed.
They are alone and they are struggling. And we as churches, we as community church members, as brothers and sisters in Christ need to bring these families back into the church so that they can get the help and the support they need.
And absolutely is vital to their Christian journey.
And so what's a practical tip for you for today related to that?

[34:15] The one thing I know without a shadow of a doubt that I've learned more and more the more I do this, family caregivers do not ask for help. They struggle alone.
They do not ask their brothers and sisters in the church to help them.
They are not reaching out and asking the deacons for help.
So one very practical tip is speak to your deacons, speak to the church leadership.
Do not hide the fact that you are a family caregiver of a person living with dementia and ask them for help.
But you also need to be very specific about what it is that would be helpful to you.

[35:01] If your loved one can come to church with you, do you need a quiet place for them to be, somebody to stay with them so that you could maybe have a break and be in the worship service?
Do you want to attend women's Bible study, need somebody to stay with your spouse at home so you can just get out of the house?
Be specific about what it is that you need in order to maintain your own spiritual health.
And you have to stay on top of it.
I know it feels like another task to do, but these opportunities for respite is what is going to give you the endurance for your race.
And it is a marathon.
It is not a sprint.
So So real quick to recap today's episode.

[35:55] Where we first talked about grounding yourself in scripture for your own comfort and guidance.
And the practical plan was daily scripture reading, starting a prayer journal, and reflecting your thoughts back to God.
The second point is, what is Christian dementia coaching, and what is biblical counseling, and how are they the same, or what similarities may they have, and how are they different.
And a practical tip for you related to that is on April the 25th at 6 p.m.
Eastern time is the very first Ask the Dementia Coach free session where you can register and hop in a Zoom room with me and ask me your questions and I will coach you for free so that I can help you in your journey.
The third point is how to maintain your spiritual health during a dementia caregiving journey.
We talked about routine being your friend and that your practical tip is to ask your deacons for help, to be specific about what help it is that you need, and to ask your deacons for help.
So, I thank you so much for being here and listening to my episodes.

[37:23] I put a lot of effort into them.
I think about them. I pray about them. I ask the Lord to bless the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart and that they be acceptable in His sight.
And I'm excited for the future of this program because I am here to serve you in the long run.
I hope you find benefit in these episodes.
If you have found them to be helpful, share them.

[37:55] With another family member, with somebody else who is perhaps a family caregiver of a person living with dementia.
Tell people about this podcast.
The podcast is where I serve primarily in a free capacity.
So I really do want to grow my impact so I can help other people.
So if you've liked these episodes, please like and subscribe and share them with other people.
And if you don't mind, hop on Apple Podcasts and give me a written review.
These written reviews mean a lot to me because it tells me that people are actually listening on the other side and would really encourage me in this journey.
Me if you haven't left a review to go ahead and leave me a review on Apple Podcasts.
And as I end all my programs, may the Lord bless you and keep you until the next time we see each other.

[39:04] 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.
 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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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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