What I’ll Say to my Children if I’m Diagnosed With Alzheimer’s

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I was skimming some other dementia blogs lately and a reader had written in saying, that though she felt guilty about it, she wished her mother would die in her sleep and not have to continue living through the pain and indignity of dementia.  I’ve heard others say things like, “I’ve told my kids if I ever get Alzheimer’s just shoot me.”

I understand where these comments are coming from, but they make my heart heavy.  I feel like these attitudes devalue my Mom’s life right now. Even though they are not specifically referencing her, they are in effect saying that people like her are better off dead. It is hard to see Mom changing and confused and upset. But she still has sweet times of love and joy, too.  And God still has a purpose for her life.

He is growing our patience as we care for her.  He is developing our tenderness and mercy.  God is giving us opportunities to show love to a dear mom who loved us all so well when she was able and strong. He’s sending us smiles and laughter with Mom’s quirky ways and funny words.  He’s challenging us to love faithfully when she is angry and difficult.

People with dementia are still people.  And God still has a plan for their lives. Even when they are bedridden and can do nothing at all, maybe their very life keeps us clinging to God more. Maybe their very existence draws us closer to God as we seek Him and cry out to Him.

I fear having AD someday myself. (My mind already concerns me too often.)  But if that day comes I’m not going to tell my kids, even jokingly, to just shoot me.  What I would say to them is this…. Pray and trust God to guide you.  Get as much help as you can.  I don’t want you to sacrifice your life plans or family for my sake, but I want to always be part of your life.

If you need to find a nursing home for me, I understand.  Pray about it and seek wisely. And then visit me often. Even if I don’t seem to know you, believe in your heart that part of me does.  Hold my hand and talk to me.  Tell me all about your life.  Sing to me and read the Bible to me, please.  Brush my hair and tell me memories of your childhood.

If I’m still able to chew be sure to bring chocolate.  (You know your mom.) And hopefully I’ll have some adorable grandchildren to marvel over.

And don’t forget to take some time to just sit quietly next to me. Hold my wrinkled hand and let God whisper to your soul.  I’m so sorry you have to go through this painful journey with me, but God will give you strength and grow you through it all.  Hold fast unto Him. Sink deep into His love.

Everything will be better in heaven.  Meanwhile, when I can’t talk anymore; just know that I love you forever and that being a mom to you was an honor and the delight of my life.

That’s what I’d say to my children. Oh, and I might throw in a “Be nice to your brother” for old-time’s sake.

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1,240 comments

  1. I have needed this for quite a while. Thank you for putting the words down that my heart could not find to explain how it is with a mom with dementia. I will pray and look for more ways to appreciate the journey that is laden with anger, guilt and frustration.

    1. I know it’s a hard journey, Joye. And as caregivers we experience so many emotions!! I pray that God will give you grace and strength even through the challenges of it all. ~Cheryl

  2. Been on this journey with my precious Mom!! God’s grace is sufficient!!! She is in Heaven now, died in my arms in my bedroom. So thankful to be able to take care of her!! I was her baby girl and she took care of me!! What a privilege to take care of her as she became my baby girl…

  3. Thank you for this very touching post. My own mother had arterial dementia, and I did many of the things for her that you ask your children do for you–sang to her, told her about my life, reminisced about my childhood, etc., even though she had not been able to speak for some time. It just seemed right at the time. I guess it was!

  4. I went thru this first with my mom she had Alzheimer’s 4 years ago then last year with my dad. he had dementia. They both had there good days and bad. But the day before dad die he ha a great day he was smiling and he took my hand and just held i and staired at me. i look back now and I feel it was his way of saying it was ok I’m ready to be with your momma. i will always remember that quarkey smile he gave me that day

  5. My father had Advanced Dementia….. He would call all of us “ hay Kid” because we knew he forgot our name bt did remember our faces…… always happy to see us….. you could tell when he was having a bad day ….. looked scared and confused…. and his good days in his laugh……… his nights were always the worse …… misss you dad!

  6. My mother in law died with it, my mom has it now and my brother in law that is just 60 has it very bad. I am so sick of the word and scared too that I might be next.

  7. Well expressed as it brought fresh tears; lost Mom 3 months ago from what I call an insidious disease. I do agree that God uses the whole range of emotions to grow us and teach us. I will never forget the funny things Mom said but particularly the tender, private exchanges as well. Thank you for such insight to very difficult times.

  8. Caring for my husband who has AD is difficult. When I can see he is still trying to express his love and appreciation (in the ways he understands now) makes it easier to cope.
    Thank you for your missive. It is thought provoking and leaves an appreciative understanding of your heart’s yearnings. Great advise.

  9. I have been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers. I am 68 and have a wonderful husband and family. They love me, understand me, and help me through the rough times. I can get frustrated at times because I cannot remember as well as I have in the past. I try my best to keep active. I sing in our Church choir; read books, fellowship with church friends, and try to keep active. My husband helps me out in so many ways. I try to be as active as possible. I know that some day this ‘disease’ may get worse, but God has been so good to me by giving me a wonderful family and Church family. I am truly blessed.

    1. I’m sorry for your diagnosis, Bertina, but I love your attitude and your determination to keep active and in fellowship. Your life is and will be a testimony to God’s grace. May He continually to bless you and your family! ~Cheryl

  10. Thank you so much for this post. My mother also had Alzheimer’s. It was a difficult and heartbreaking time, but she found joy in having me with her. I too worry that I may follow that same path and these words are wonderful. As a mom we all want to spare our children the heartbreak of the changes Alzheimer’s brings, but to tell your children these words while you still can will be a great blessing. God bless you!

  11. When we don’t have enough money to treat every sick child because 80% of our lifetime medical expenses are accrued in the last year of life, we have our priorities upside down. Will I ask for death? No. But will I allow someone to spend $15k (or more) every month to sustain me? No!

    1. Hear, hear. My mom had dementia, and the last year was horrible and heartbreaking. I am thankful that she did not suffer any longer than she did. Even though I miss her, her release from torment and pain was also a relief. She knew what was happening to her, and that just made things worse. If I get dementia or Alzheimer’s, I hope my decline and death occur as rapidly as hers.

      1. I agree and know the suffering side of this horrible disease. Although this blog was written very prettily, I’m Afraid I think this post was a bit rose colored glasses. There s a vast number of caregivers of parents who are caring for a mom or dad who did NOT show love and caring while they were growing up and as an adult still being subjected to mistsreatment by the parent. Probably why a very high percentage of caregivers do not outlive their ‘patient’. I’ve often thought my mother will outlive me as she has no stressors in her life as I take care of them for her but that also doubles the stressors I already had. She’ll reach 100 soon

    2. People with dementia should not be kept alive using extraordinary medical treatment. My poor daddy in his 80’s with Parkinson’s was given a pacemaker. Would have been more merciful for him to pass with a cardiac event than continue in his tortured confused state. I was able to witness to him and I hope and pray that he is with the Lord now though we were not raised in church. I was a nurse and do believe there needs to be a better distribution of very expensive medical care

      1. Death is not always the enemy. Sometimes death is a sweet release from pain and a life no longer capable of sharing with others, only exhausting others. I do not believe in aggressive care for the elderly or the incurable patient who is in agony. Allow nature to take its course, allow the family to hold hands, stroke brows and shed tears until the patient is taken to an eternity of their choice.

    1. My oldest SISTER passed away with this horrible diease. We lost her two months ago. She was only 67. Miss her everyday. She went through alot. I worked on a dementia wing for 10 years. I have experienced alot and learning alot about dementia. But seeing your own family member go through this is alot different. Pain doesnt go away but you learn to go on. Ill cherish the time I spent with her. Thanks for sharing this.

  12. Unfortunately I have had both parents go through this. It really shakes your beliefs. Sad to say I no longer pray. I found the only way to help someone is to do it yourself and not leave to a higher being! Teach yourself to be patient, loving,forgiving.

    1. I watched my Mom go through it too…didn’t know Her much before and totally didn’t know who She was when She passed…💔
      Thankfully I was there in moments of clarity especially just before She passed away…
      When You go through things like this that is ALL the More Reason To Pray “Teach yourself to be patient, loving,forgiving.” You say..How can Anyone so these Things without God to Give Strength to do them????
      Forgive me but is this what Your Parents would want? For You to Lose Faith in God????
      Praying for You to Return to God and Let Him Be Your Strength

    2. Hi Shirley, I appreciate your openness to share your heart and experience. I’ve never posted or replied to a Blog of any kind. When I read yours, I felt complelled to encourage you. My father was recently diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. I’m still learning. Dad lives with me, my husband, and adult son. The other day he fell and hit his head very hard on our kitchen floor! We took him to the hospital to get checked out. Thankfully, the only thing the CAT Scan found was a sinus infection. I think that I’m already seeing a change (decline) in my dad. It worries me that the fall will excellerate his symptoms. I’ve been praying for him-and for myself as I try to navigate through this! It seems like every couple of days, there’s another thing to pray about. LIke, Lord please protect him. Lord, please give him your peace. Lord, help him to feel better. Lord, please give me wisdom! When I surrender my worries in prayer, the Lord truely gives me peace that He is with us. I don’t always know what tomorrow will hold, but I always know who holds my tomorrow. I’m reminded that this imperfect world has lots and lots of troubles, but God is with us always! I would rather walk through my struggles with the Lord than completely on my own. I’d like to speak to your suggestion to learn to be patient, loving, and forgiving on our own. What better example to I have than Jesus Christ who was ‘patiently’ waiting for me to invite Him into my heart? Who better to learn ‘love’ from than the one who loved us so much that He GAVE His one and only Son to die on a cross for me? And is there anyone else who lived a perfect life, yet sacrificed it for sinful people and offers ‘forgiveness’ to anyone who asks for it? There’s only one. His name is Jesus. I’d like to pray for you, Shirley, that you’ll give prayer a second chance. God never changes – – – even if we do ❤️

      1. Karleen, thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thoughtful and inspiring reply to Shirley. My mom has passed on since I wrote this post and now my Dad is in hospice and I don’t have much time for this blog. But so many of the comments, and your caring reply, bless my heart! ~Cheryl

      2. AMEN for your loving message — I hope that deep within your heart you will be accepting to God in a loving manner that will refresh your inner belief. TIME takes care of a lot of our heartaches. Blessings to you and yours. MA

    3. Dear Shirley… please do not shut God out. Satan is in control of this world and is using every tool he can to steal your soul. But God is still there, looking down and hoping that you will find Him again. I lost my dad to cancer after three grueling years. Four days after he died, my mother was diagnosed with a horrible, aggressive cancer. I would never have been able to get through it WITHOUT God. One day, I was crying uncontrollably. I asked God why He would let such a thing happen to me. I cried out, “Why are you not taking care of me?” And I heard Him answer, “Because I am taking care of them now.” And it occurred to me that He was bringing them to a place where they no longer suffered at all!! He WAS taking care of me by taking care of them!! I pray that you will open your heart up to a loving God who does care about us. Seek Him and you will find exactly that. It takes some work. You have to actively seek Him. Open your Bible and open your heart. It surely makes living in this cruel world much different. I will be praying for you. With love, Cathy

      1. Cathy, thank you for taking the time to write this thoughtful reply to Shirley. My mom has passed on since I wrote this post and now my dad is in hospice and I haven’t had much time to spend with this blog. But the stories of love and faith encourage me and seeing readers like you taking time to share with other readers blesses me. Thank you!

  13. I took care of my Daddy for the last 10 years of his life. The last 5, he had Alzheimer’s. I took care of him out of my love for him, some god had nothing whatsoever to do with it. If you love someone, you take care of them, whatever it takes, just as I care for my 50 year old special baby girl!

  14. I’m not sure how to start. Thank you for your beautiful words. My children and I are making this journey with my wife of 39 years. Patti will be 60 in June. She’s a beautiful woman and a great mother. Her life has and continues to have purpose. She has taught much prior to her Alzheimer’s and is teaching as she faces this demeaning disease. She loves the Lord is graceful and has a smile you can’t forget. Her children, my children carry their mom in their hearts. Her family, my family, our friends are on this walk with us. Patti’s life has purpose! God didn’t make any mistakes. He has us by our hand. Reach out, grab hold.

    I needed this tonight.

    Mark<

    1. Patti sounds like a beautiful person, Mark. I’m thankful to hear she has you, a loving family, and especially the Lord to help her on this journey. May He continue to give you grace and strength. He is faithful! ~Cheryl

  15. Thank you for sharing this. It’s beautiful ,heartwarming but at the same time brought tears to my eyes , My Mom has dementia and will soon be going to a nursing home for she can no longer be taken care at home . We recently visited her at her home and it was very rewarding to spend quality time with her and share the most memorable memories. She is funny and strong will and long’s to be with my dad who passed away 20 years ago . But in her mind he has gone and left her so she waits for him everyday , every minute that passes by . 😔 EDK

  16. Mark on March 24, 2018 at 2:43 am
    I’m not sure how to start. Thank you for your beautiful words. My children and I are making this journey with my wife of 39 years. Patti will be 60 in June. She’s a beautiful woman and a great mother. Her life has and continues to have purpose. She has taught much prior to her Alzheimer’s and is teaching as she faces this demeaning disease. She loves the Lord is graceful and has a smile you can’t forget. Her children, my children carry their mom in their hearts. Her family, my family, our friends are on this walk with us. Patti’s life has purpose! God didn’t make any mistakes. He has us by our hand. Reach out, grab hold.

    I needed this tonight.

    Mark<

  17. Both of my parents had this dreadful disease. My father slowly deteriorated over 10 years. Went from VA hospital to another. At a couple of them, Mom cried to see his lack of care. We fiinally got him into a great facility where he finally passed. My mother was a real Saint. My mother cared for him and visited him nearly every day. I was out of state and could not visit as often as I wished. Dad lost all memory and could talk, but he lit up when Mom came to visit! He knew her. Several years later I moved my mother nearby so I could care for her. She developed an agressive form of cancer. Plus Alzheimer’s began to take her, too. We spent time taking day trips, visiting the duck pond, eating lunch while watchng the ducks. She also loved hot Crispy Creme doughnuts! In 2009, she passed away. I was close by. I have been diagnosed with cognitive dysfunction with a probable future of dementia. I am scared of course. I can only hope that my family spends time with me oce I no longer know them. I know my wife will unless she predeceases me. I struggle to keep up my happiness and keep my mind busy. Writing and guitar lessons. So far, I have published three books of my own and am anticipated another soon. My heart goes out to all those who suffer with this disease or carng for one. I know my future.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story, Frank. I’m glad to hear you were able to find a great facility for your dad. That is a comfort! And what precious memories you made with your mom! Sounds like you were blessed with a special family and you blessed them back! I’m sorry about your diagnosis.Good for you keeping busy! I’m impressed you’v published three books! Wow! You mention you know your future. I hope you also mean that you know you have a future in heaven because you trust in Jesus. I know that is what gave me the most comfort and grace as I went through Alzheimer’s with my mom. She passed in 2016. Though I miss her so much, I know she knew Jesus and trusted Him when her mind was strong, so I know I will see her again. And that is the best comfort and blessing!

  18. Thank you so much for sharing this. My grandmother was eight years with it and my mother is going into year eleven. I don’t want her to suffer but at times I think it is those looking after her that suffer. God has a plan for her and I appreciate the reminder. Bless you.

  19. Amen!!! My mom has AD and I could hear her voice in your blog. Thank you so much for this. She is precious and still loving and teaching us and if my day comes for this, then I pray I’m as gracious, joyful, loving, and as selfless as she still is. Blessing to you and your mom.

  20. Yesterday we were eating at McDonalds’ and we saw a lady, probably in her late fifty’s, with her Father, who was in a wheelchair, helping him eat and visiting with him. I thought, “How nice, she was taking her Dad out for lunch.” But when we left, we had to go by them to leave. And next to this lady’s side in the booth when we came around the side of her, was her elderly mother dressed in a bright yellow coat 🧥 that brought out the remaining blonde highlights of her hair. She had on red lipstick and blue eyeshadow. She was dressed in her Easter’s best. She had that absent look in her eyes as she sat slanting sideways almost looking like she could have fallen off the booth. But she was smiling as her head dropped to the side. The lady continued to talk and visit with her Father. What a gratifying scene to see this woman with her parents,on Palm Sunday, giving them her full attentqion and enjoying herself with her parents. The Mother definitely had Alzheimer’s characteristic but the daughter did her best to talk to her and her Father. It brought tears to my eyes as we left. Even though her Father had a sound mind but was crumpled in the chair and the Mother was starring absently, she took the time to entertain them as if they were fully functioning. What a blessing she was to her parents.

  21. Thanks so much for this. As a daughter dealing with this with my dad and been going on for over 9 years, it is a relief to hear this and gives me even more wisdom and things to say when I visit my dad. So inspired by your words.

  22. Very inspiring. Thankyou for this wisdom. I honestly believe it is God speaking to me and guiding me. I’ve been so lost lately and this gives me some direction. Praise God, I know that you are always there to comfort and guide me.

    1. Wow! I love that you believe God is speaking to you through this post, David! Thank you for sharing that!
      God is faithful and will give you comfort and guidance. May He bless you as you seek Him. ~Cheryl

  23. I am thankful to read this and all the comments advice I am on the caregivers journey with my husband of 18 yrs. he will be 70 in August. He has had 4 strokes that the only evidence left is his dementia. They say his is vascular with sundowners. I noticed signs in the last year and half to two years and he officially diagnosed in Oct 2017. Not sure what is in store for us but know we will be together on this journey. He has good days and bad days and a lot of restless nights. I just pray that God gives me the understanding to help him and him the patience with me to learn. The drs say I’m lucky because I’m young, 54, to help care for him. One dr told me it gets easier. Easier I said, he said yes when they forget that they are forgetting. This is all new to me as it is different with a spouse then when my grandma had it. I love my husband and will do everything to help him battle the demons at night, and there have been many. They say he is in late early stage. We have a long road ahead of us. God will be my strength.

    1. Yes, God will be your strength, Irena. It is a hard road, but you’re not alone. Get all the help you can and keep leaning on God and looking to Him for strength and wisdom. He will give you grace one day at a time. May He bless you!!

  24. My mother took care of my grandmother who had –what at the time–was called hardening of the arteries. We later learned the term Alzheimers. She lived with us for years as I was in high school and beyond. My mother raised her while also having 7 children of her own. Grandma Rudolf was a fixture in our house that all of us children learned to love and respect and tend to as she had done for us. My mom always worried that she would become just like her mother–well she did many years later. My mother was always a giver and caretaker for all those around her. She was loved by so many and when her thinking and taking of care of herself and my dad ceased to be a daily thing for her, my sister and daughter went to live with them. Mom was not always kind to her caretakers which was so unlike her loving ways. I watched as she changed in personality and demeanor. It was difficult, but when she smiled she still lit up the room until her passing after years of living with this horrible disease. Throughout it all my dad learned patience and modelled his love for her for all to see. He washed her face, combed her hair and put her in her wheelchair every Sunday to take to church. What a shining example they were to the congregation and to our family. I had 4 sisters who all fear that our future holds this disease for us to bear, but 1 sister has already died of cancer so she will be forever young in our minds and hearts. I pray everyday not to be released from this burden, but rather that my three daughters will not be burdened with me. My love for them is so great that I know that they will be taking care of me the best way they know how. I do not know if my husband will learn the patience and love that my own father did as he cared for my mom as my husband is not grounded in the Lord’s love and teaching as Me and my family were. I try right now to live my life to its fullest while I can to make way for what is to come–Love all who have had to deal with this and know that their is a true purpose for all of our lives.

  25. A profound message that there is a reason and meaning to all trials and tribulations of life. Thank you for reminding me that this devastating, life-altering situation is an opportunity for me and all caregivers to turn it into a rewarding expression of love in between the heart-breaking, patience-trying daily routine.

  26. Very true I did this for my mom.Sat and held her hand talked to her even when she didn’t have a clue what I was saying . She knew everytime I went to see her I was part of her. Maybe one day daughter next her sister . I didn’t want her to be in the nursing home by herself . Holidays I would take time away from my family to sit with her for several hours also thanks for the support my brother gave her . I watched her take her last breath.

  27. Wow. What a read. It brought tears to my eyes. My grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s. It made me so sad to see the lady that made the biggest and best impact in my life not knowing me. I still went to see her. One of my fondest memories after she was diagnosed was going to see her in the nursing home. She no longer could talk. That day she wasn’t in her room. I found her because amazingly she could still whistle Amazing Grace in perfect tune. This beautiful woman is the same woman who took me fishing as a small child. To this day my therapy is fishing. She’s been gone for over 20 years and I still miss her. I look forward to the day I’ll see her beautiful face again.

    1. I love that you found her because she was whistling Amazing Grace! What a precious gift and memory! Made me misty! thank you for sharing, Tonya! God bless you!

  28. Wow so powerful. I work with residents who have Demintia and Alzheimer’s and I truly believe God has them here for a reason. Every day my life is touched and I see just how amazing God truly is. Don’t get me wrong there’s a lot of days that tears just rolled in my eyes my heart breaks but all in all they need our love like we need theirs. Thank you for sharing this.

  29. My Mom has suffered the last 5 years. At first it was hard and she was angry and frustrated . It was painful and it still is painful to see what it has done to her. She stills loves the Lord and will immediately tell you that. When I see her she smiles and always makes it a point to tell me how happy she is that I am there. I am not ashamed to say that I am a mama’s boy. She stills gives me all the love she can.

    1. I love that! Treasure the mama love as long as you have it! My mama passed on December of 2016, and I miss her so much. But I’m grateful I know she’s at peace with Jesus and I cherish our memories.

  30. That is very well written. My sister suffered from Alzhimers and it was a difficult time for me and my sister. As THE Diease Progress Ed IT Became More difficult for us, not her. She knew we loved her and she was getting good care. I was at peace when she passed and I knew she was going home.
    Alzheimers is a terrible diease and I pray that some day soon they find a cure.

  31. Thank God there are scientists who have worked diligently to find a way to stop this condition and products now available that they feel may hold promise of preventing t this happening in the future. I’ve been on one of those for two years next month and can attest to certain improvements already experienced as a result.

    My own precious Mom died with dementia and my heart broke for her as I watched her life ebb away in such confusion and dependence. I was sitting alone by her bedside at 4:30 AM the morning God’s death angel came into her hospital room to take her home to Him. She was my earthly rock, my one stable influence that charted the course my life would take to stability and possibility thinking in every situation I will be forever grateful for the loving, supportive, outstanding Mom I had. It was a privilege for me and my siblings to care for her and to be with her to the end. At one point in that last hospital stay, her doctors met with us to suggest removing her “food support connection and allow her to go on”. We had watched our Mom stand in the harness of a one-horse wagon and pull it to her father’s house down the dirt road to find clean water to wash our clothes and do the same with a plow for a garden to provide us canned food in the bitter winters. Our Dad was a hopeless alcoholic and incapable of taking care of us financially, eventually deserting us completely. Us take her food support away!? NEVER! She lived another few days on her “food line” while receiving excellent care from nurses.

    At times I find myself thinking of her wisdom as my own children and grandchildren need guidance and hope that I can only come close to that which she would have given them! I cling to the Bible’s reassurance there will never be an end to my relationship with my precious Mother but will only grow brighter as the eternal ages roll!

  32. I love your thoughts. It is hard. My mom has been non verbal for years but recently quit walking. She seems so miserable. She chokes on most foods and drinks She stays in pain from constpation and hemorids and we try everything to help. She doesn’t want anyone near her. If I try to hug her or hold her hand she gets very agitated. I admit I pray God calls her home where I can dream and believe she is comfortable and happy again.

  33. Thank you for that…my journey has started with my beloved wife of 60 years and I need strength to be kind, patient and understanding…I am so sad and ashamed and my heart is breaking.
    Lord have Mercy.

  34. Makes me cry.. I know this sounds crazy but u wish my Mama would have lived long enough for me to have been able to take care of her.. she was only sixty-six when she passed.. she’s been gone from this earth almost twenty three years & not a day goes by that I don’t think of her often through the day & night..

  35. Beautiful. Just beautiful. I love holding her hand. I love the silly stories. I love knowing He has a purpose for us always.

  36. So many good thoughts and feelings posted. My husband is in late mid stage. So many days, he just sits and stares and most of the time at me. He shadows me a lot. I just wish I could get him to do something, anything. He doesn’t want to walk, work puzzles, paint, read or anything else i suggest. Any ideas? By the end of the day, I am exhausted. I know God is working and getting me through all of the different challenges. I trust Him.

    1. If he is able, take him with you on walks, shopping, etc. Look into adult day care programs where he will be safe for a few hours while you get a much needed break.

    2. My mom went through a stage where she shadowed my dad a lot, too. He said he felt like he had a puppy dog following him everywhere. It is challenging to find activities they can and want to do.
      My 95 year old mother-in-law lives with us now, and she has dementia. She likes to color in adult coloring books with markers. We’ve gone through stacks of books and boxes of markers now! We also got a smart tv for her so we can play shows she likes on Netflix, etc. And we keep a CD player near her and offer favorite music. She likes to help with things, like baking. She enjoys being near babies when grandchildren come to visit. My own mom loved to look at old photo graphs.
      I don’t know if any of these things would interest your husband. I’ve read before to think about what they liked to do in the past and find a simpler version of it. My mom loved babies, so someone suggested a baby doll, and that actually blessed her for a season. She would hug that doll and talk to it. It was sweet!
      What did your husband do for a living, or for hobbies? Is there any simpler version of that you could offer? And Jo’s suggestion of adult day care is another option that might be valuable. God bless you and give you grace as you care for your husband.

  37. This was so beautiful! Just the words I needed today. Barb, my mom-in-law, did not have a great day today and, sometimes, it is discouraging. I get down on myself when I feel frustrated because I know she can’t help it . I thank God for teaching us patience and how to return the love she gave us when she was able!

  38. My wife, Sherry, died February 1, 2018 after suffering 12 years from early onset , rapid degeneration Alzheimers. She was 63. Last 4 years were in nursing home. She always wanted to go home. About a year and a half ago on one of her good days she asked “just what is going to happen to me?” I told her she would just wait here for Jesus to come take her home with Him. She looked me straight in the eyes and said “ok”. Never asked again to go home. She was completely content to wait for Jesus. Now I realize all the time God was waiting to take her He was waiting for me to become content with letting her go. It seems as soon as I realized that, Jesus came and took her home. Praise God and thank you, Jesus.

    1. Brad, I’m sorry for your loss. My wife was diagnosed in 2014 with early onset Alzheimer’s. It started a few years earlier…. Patti will be 60 in June. I retired early to care for her. I understand the difficulty in letting go. God is central in our struggle, holding my wife, myself and our family together. I’ll pray you can heal. Let’s pray together for a cure for this disease.

      Mark<

  39. I love, love, love this article – it speaks my heart as an advocate for people with dementia! Could I have permission to reprint it in the newsletter for our retirement community? Thanks!

    1. Thank you, Sally! I’m grateful to hear this post meaningful to you. Yes, feel free to reprint it as long as you provide a link to this blog, please. Thank you for sharing it! ~Cheryl

  40. Thank you so much for posting. Been going through this for five years now. It is a heartbreaking, devastating experience. My life will never be the same. My Mom was always my best friend all my life and it is just so painful to watch and go through this with her. I love her and can only hope and pray that she finds peace. I am here for her no matter what. Thank you. Jeff.

  41. The article was tough to read through the tears in my eyes, and the comments also had my emotions running high. My mother had Alzheimers and Parkinsons. I was 58 when my mom passed and it hurt when she didn’t know who I was. Before this, mom was a healthy 140.lb. woman, when she passed she was 80 lbs. If she said something that was wrong or off the wall, I didn’t correct her mainly because she wouldn’t have recognized the difference anyways. When she died, I had a feeling of 1. no, I don’t want you to go and 2. thank you God for taking her out of her misery. I sure hope I go to heaven when I leave this earth so I can see her again, because, without a doubt, I know she is there.

  42. Oh, my. My mother-in-law died after a battle with Alzheimers. It is my husband’s fear .Everything you expressed here was so true in our experience and care of her. You said it so well. God gives us strength and teaches us to love through this journey called life.

  43. I read the comments every day. Thank you all for expressing your feelings. I find strength in how each of you are and have dealt with your walk. God is in the middle of this with us and our loved one. That three legged stool analogy is being brought home for sure. His hand is always stretched out and waiting for us to grab hold of.

    Mark<.

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