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Monday, May 18, 2020

How to Have Devotional Time with the Elderly Suffering from Dementia

This, in my experience, is not all that hard, my friends—caregivers, mothers, and family members included. It's called Flash Devotional Time. Well, that's what I call it. Seriously, don't expect someone suffering from dementia to pay attention for more than 3 seconds. Never order them to either. It's absolutely okay to read just one scripture at breakfast, or here and there throughout the day, preferably one they might remember. My dad can still recite Psalm 23 and 118. Sometimes, if I start a scripture he'll remember the next line. It's all good, and it makes for a great beginning to a new day.









This brings me to our light-bulb moment. A few days ago I changed out a light bulb in the kitchen. Perhaps not a huge accomplishment, but I had to climb a ladder. Not my favorite thing to do. Nonetheless, the bulb had been flashing on and off and so I spoke to it. Don't laugh, it works sometimes. Especially in this house where lights like to turn on and off by themselves.  

I told the bulb to behave and that if it didn't let its light shine I'd banish it to the garage. That brought a wonderful deep bellowing kind of laughter from my Dad. And Mom then told the light bulb, "Yes, let your light shine so we don't have to sit in the darkness."

Ah, she just created her own devotional. This brought her much joy which lasted throughout the day. "Can't let my light flicker on and off like that," she mumbled and quickly added, "This then is the message which we have heard from Him and declare unto you: that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5)

She didn't say it perfectly, word for word, but I knew which scripture she was reciting. And Dad said, "Amen." 




(The Waning) 

When depression darkens the halls
of your mind
When the light on your path is dim
Focus your watch on me, 
my child
The darkness is passing
The fear is but fleeting
I Am there
in the midst of the storm

I give you my armor
from head to toe
I give you my strength
My wisdom
My joy


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A Caregiver's Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that your Word never comes back null and void. Every word is living bread. Let me never forget that dementia cannot take away the memory of You and that you have not forgotten them. With your strength I pick up my cross, revive the embers of my flame, my light, and continue on this path with joy, peace, love, and a whole lot of sappiness. Amen





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