Just three and a half years ago, I began giving care to my husband…after his diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia. With the usual enthusiasm, I began learning all I could, seeing the different levels, understanding what was ahead for both of us. We moved to be close to one of our children, knowing it was not possible to stay where we had been and expect others from the church to help us.
We went through many stages from wandering, the sun-downing of wanting to go home, the hallucinations, to modifying his diet, feeding him and dressing him and giving him his medications. My husband has been independent all his life so being dependent is not his style.
Now, I listen for him night and day, ready to jump up at any moment to tend to his needs, talk to him and listen as his speech becomes softer. The day he asked me where my family was and where I live, I knew it was true, he forgot who I am, his wife. When one of his children comes over, he asks, ‘Who are you’?
Then his eyesight became impaired. Now he cannot see the food on his plate and doesn’t want to use a utensil. He has fallen several times, usually without hurting himself, and then I need help to get him up at any hour of the day or the night. Our son always comes to help.
He went from walking unsteadily to using the walker and recently is not able to walk and needs to use the wheelchair. I know eventually he will not even be able to function well enough to manage to ‘pull himself up’, to transfer him to the bed or wheel chair or the commode.
I began praying at night with my husband just before he goes to sleep. I prayed for sweet dreams, and assured him of God’s unfailing love to hold him in his sleep and keep him safe. He hears as I pray for each family member to remind him of his family who all love him.
As I kiss him goodnight, and he repeats after me, Good night, Babe, I love you! I know that part of him remembers me, and our life together. Some part of my husband understands his faith in God and in that understanding is lucidity for a moment. Those moments are precious to me.
One evening as I delayed my evening meal to feed him and get him ready for bed…I realized something. God is our Care-Giver. How is He our caregiver?
He knows that each of us are sin-sick. We are ailing. We are too independent having swallowed the myth of being #One, pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps and being our own man.
When some try to erase God from our lives, they have forgotten that we are created by God to serve Him, love Him and follow Him. God hovers over us to check every step we make, correcting our path to follow us just as a mother does her child. Through Jesus Christ, God sends the Holy Spirit to dwell with us. He walks with us and permeates every situation we live with his peace and comfort.
Jesus said He has prepared a home for us to go to after death. When we ‘sun-down’, wandering through this life, He has prepared a blessed home that we can travel through faith in Him. He has asked us to follow Him. Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12
God takes care of our worries and cares for us and about us. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. I Peter 5:7. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? Luke 12:28
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
As a caregiver, my strength is weak. Though I wanted to care for my husband to the end, I struggle with not keeping my commitment, but I know someone who is faithful. Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for He who calls you is faithful. I Thessalonians 5:23-24
What can we do?
Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Ephesians 5:10 Now he cares for you more than ever when he remembers the way all of you obeyed him and welcomed him with such fear and deep respect. 2 Corinthians 7:15
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. Ephesians 3:16-18
God is our faithful and strong CareGiver. Trust in Him!