Nurturing a daily relationship with God is the best insurance we can provide ourselves against the devastation caused by Alzheimer's disease. (I thought I'd just say this right up front so you won't have to read more than the first sentence if you've arrived at this site hoping for a recommendation of a new preventative supplement, diet, or brain exercise!)
Lately I've become increasingly aware that my mother's successful navigation of early Alzheimer's has less to do with quality care (!) and more to do with her relationship with the Lord. To show you how I know faith is a key to my mother's success, here is an excerpt from her journal (recorded just after she had endured my negative response when she called me for the fourth time in a 30 minute period):
I am well cared for! Do not call Linda!! My senior mind convinces me what I'm doing (when I call) is right and sensible! Not so!
Lord, I pray--guide me to write, read, pray, and occupy myself--because all I need is cared for. My senior mind has a hard time accepting I'm not thinking logically. For years I was responsible and accomplished much. Now--let go--and let God. This pen and notebook will occupy my heart and mind--allow that to be Anna Ruth! When your senior mind causes problems try to grasp what caretakers are telling you. Lord Jesus, guide me to let go and let others with a kind and compassionate spirit--I pray for this, Lord Jesus!
My mother is 88 years old and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's when she was 79. She's done amazingly well for reasons we can't fully analyze, but we are assured much credit goes to her strong faith and the daily (hourly, moment-by-moment) conversations she carries on with the Lord.
Now that doesn't mean all is sweetness and light here. My mother always forgets her resolutions not to call me for trivialities, and while I've been writing this post she's called three times. But we both have an ongoing assurance that the Lord is with us. Even if we forget Him, He will not forget us.
And that assurance gives peace.
Scripture: "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior..." (Isaiah 43:2-3).