Saturday, November 8, 2008


If you are an Alzheimer's caregiver, I urge you to frequent the Alzheimer's Association's web site at When Mom was first diagnosed I was able to use this site to locate a chapter of the Alzheimer's Association within 20 miles of my home. The information at the web site along with the meetings I attended provided me invaluable information as I began life as a caregiver.

One day I was scanning the articles at and found an offer of a free resource. I filled out the online form and a few weeks later received football coach Frank Broyles' Playbook for Alzheimer's Caregivers. The book came with a pocket sized flipbook entitled Pocket Book of Tips and Strategies.

Tonight I have been reviewing Coach Broyles' strategies and am convicted by one characteristic that shines through his words of advice--kindness. His love and respect for his wife expresses itself in a desire to protect her emotionally. "Pay attention to what she is trying to tell you," he says. "Give her lots of time to finish what she is trying to say...Don't argue with her...Tell her each car's seat belt is different if she is having trouble putting it on."

Tears of remorse come to my eyes as I quote these words, because when I contrast my own behaviors with the recommended strategies I fall so short. My mother always has difficulty fastening her seatbelt and I have let her struggle with it as I hurry to begin our trip. My disgusted silence is worse than unloving, it is cruel. Mom needs me to be her advocate and her helper. She needs my prayers and my support. So long as I nurture remnants of resentment over our role reversal, how can I be Christlike in my behavior toward her?

Well, I was a spoiled only child of a doting mother as opposed to being a strong and capable "take charge" kind of person like Coach Broyles, but I know that this whining complaint won't excuse my sins of disrespect toward Mom. "What can wash away my sin...nothing but the blood of Jesus."

Today, I took my mom to the beauty shop and as usual, she struggled to fasten her seatbelt. I looked over and said, "You know Mom, every car has a different kind of seatbelt and it can be a real puzzle to figure them all out." Thanks to the Lord and to Coach Broyles, maybe there's hope for me yet!

Scripture: "And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be to teach, not resentful" (2 Timothy 2:24).

Coach Broyle's playbook is available online at


  1. Oh mom, I feel the Lord's love for you and for grandma as I read your words. It is so difficult to struggle along in this world with our heartaches. But there is hope!

    When we all get to Heaven,
    What a day of rejoicing that will be!
    When we all see Jesus,
    We’ll sing and shout the victory!

    I have such a blessed heritage of faith from you and grandma. And our little "Timothy" has the privilege of that blessing too. Thank you.

  2. Ooohhh, I never can get through the chorus of that song. It's like that awful book Love You Forever. Can't even look at the cover of that one. I'm tearing up just trying not to think about it now.

    Seriously, thank you for the blessing of this comment.