He was preaching the Sunday sermon for a church of individuals with dementia, when she said, “I can’t hear him.” A few minutes later, the speaker was making a very important point. He said, “When we think of how God loves us, we realize he did so with acceptance and tolerance.”
That is when my heart was moved.
The lady spoke up again, loudly this time, “I CAN’T HEAR HIM!” The speaker gently removed the microphone from the stand and held it close to his mouth for the remainder of the sermon. His voice carried more effectively throughout the room, and she could hear.
In so many situations, this lady would have been ignored or advised to be quiet. Such is not the case at her church. Everyone is accepted just as they are, and most everyone has dementia. Their clothes may not match. They may talk loudly during prayer time. They may ask to leave during the sermon, or they may even get up and walk out. Anything could happen, but they are still God’s children who deserve to worship in whatever way they are capable.
Acceptance and tolerance are two Godly traits we need to practice with our loved ones with dementia. By the way, the sermon helped us to remember that God loves us with patience, and compassion, and he freely gives us of his time. Sounds like a good lesson plan for us to follow for all of life, but it is even more important when our loved ones have dementia.
Carol Howell is a Certified Dementia Specialist and Endorsed Life Coach with an emphasis on Creative Music Experiences. After her husband’s closed-head injury in 1996 and her mother’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in 2006, Carol began her study of the brain and the various forms of dementia that exist. Through her not-for profit company, Senior Life Journeys, she is actively involved in the lives of individuals who are caregiving for a loved-one with dementia as she helps them develop caregiving techniques. Carol’s latest book, Let’s Talk Dementia-A Caregiver’s Guide, is an Amazon #1 Best Seller, and it is an easy to read guide for caregivers of individuals with dementia. She also wrote the best seller If My Body Is A Temple, Why Am I Eating Doughnuts? It tells of the amazing miracle that caused her to lose 100 pounds. You can follow her blog—Something to Ponder—at www.seniorlifejourneys.com.