I can take no credit for the following story. It comes straight from a daily devotional entitled “Not Forgotten” in The Upper Room. As a lawyer who specializes in Elder Law, I see how dementia affects families on a daily basis. Moreover, I have witnessed the effects of dementia on members of my own family. Accordingly, I felt compelled to post it, unedited:
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. Isaiah 49:15-16.
A few years ago, as my mother started to suffer from dementia, I lived with her and served as her caregiver. Even though she was forgetting many things, she retained old memories including the names of her nine children. She still recognized family members and knew me most of the time. However, there were instances when she would call me by another name or think I was someone else. The first time she called me by my cousin’s name I thought that my name had just slipped her mind. However, she began to call me by cousin’s name when asking other family members about me when I was away from home. One time she asked me, “How is your mother?” I was stunned and could not answer. Another time, my mother asked my older sister, “Who is this woman who lives with me?”
Watching my mother lose her mental capacities was a painful experience that made me feel abandoned and forgotten. But then I realized at times we all feel that way. When I feel forgotten, I take comfort in todays quoted scripture, knowing that God does not forget my mother or me and knows each of our names.
Prayer: Dear Lord, when we feel forgotten and abandoned, help us remember your great love for us…Maria Victoria P. Creel (Alabama). [Source: The Upper Room, January-February 2018. Page 44 (February 1, 2018).]
May we all have the faith of this author. Please pray for those families dealing with dementia.
If you need help navigating life’s challenges, contact Ruston attorney Add Goff for help with long-term care planning (including Medicaid planning), VA pension planning, interdictions, powers of attorney, and estate planning.