‘LORD, you understand; remember me and care for me.’ (Jeremiah 15:15 NIV)
September 2016 marks the fifth global World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign to raise awareness and challenge stigma. The theme for World Alzheimer’s Month 2016 is Remember Me.
It’s estimated that 46.8 million people worldwide were living with dementia in 2015 and that this figure will almost double every 20 years.
It’s particularly poignant for me as my mother-in-law has been suffering from dementia for the past decade. Of course my wife and I are not alone in this experience as there are 670,000 carers of people with dementia in the UK.
How can we remember those who suffer from this debilitating disorder?
If you care for someone with Alzheimer’s here is some guidance to remember when communicating with your loved one:
- Never argue, instead agree.
- Never reason, instead divert.
- Never shame, instead distract.
- Never lecture, instead reassure.
- Never say “remember”, instead reminisce.
- Never say “I told you”, instead repeat.
- Never say “you can’t”, instead do what they can.
- Never demand, instead ask or model.
- Never condescend, instead encourage.
- Never force, instead reinforce.
In other words be a person that shows kindness and grace. Be a person that makes others feel special, even if they have forgotten that kindness in the next moment.
During this global World Alzheimer’s Month can we remember to pray for those with dementia? After all nothing, not even dementia, will be able to separate them from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (C.f. Romans 8:38-39).
And can we commit to pray for all those carers who tirelessly give of their time to help those in need?
Someone with dementia may not be able to remember you; but you can remember them.
If you would like further information about Alzheimer’s or need some support in your caring responsibilities you can contact:
Alzheimer’s Disease International
64 Great Suffolk Street
London SE1 0BL UK
Tel: +44 20 79810880
We bring before you all those who are suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia, and ask for your mercy on each of them. You are the God who promises that even if our father or mother forgets us you will remember. We are inscribed on the palms of your hands. Please remember those who may have forgotten you because of this disease. And please strengthen those care givers and family members for the challenges they face. Please help them to treat the afflicted person with compassion and dignity during these times of great trial in their lives. In Christ’s name we pray,
Have a good week remembering.