THE BIBLE AND DEMENTIA
There are no specific passages concerning dementia in the Bible. The wisest man, Solomon, addressed issues of growing old and death which are applicable to any age-related or terminal illness He admonished:
“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them” – before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain’ when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few and those looking through the windows grow dim; when the doors to the street are closes and the sound of grinding fades; when people rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint; when people are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags itself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then people go their eternal home and mourners go about the street. Remember him – before the silver cord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from and the spirit returns to God who gave it. ‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Everything is meaningless.’”
Solomon acknowledged that, from a human perspective, life can sometimes seem meaningless because of its brevity and problems. There are many challenges as one ages and grows increasingly closer to their appointed time to die. In the face of these circumstances—and especially in the face of dementia related challenges—Solomon admonishes that we remember our Creator before these conditions arise so that we will have a tried and true refuge for difficult times.
Although no specific passages address dementia, a major key to coping with this and any other generative disease is to remember that no matter your circumstances, God’s character does not change. His promises still hold true. Your circumstances do not change His purposes for you.
God is actively working “all things” together for good. If you don’t see any good in your circumstances, it is because He isn’t finished working yet, for “…we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). For some people, one of those “all things” includes dementia.. God does not say that all things are good—as dementia certainly is not good in itself! Rather, God says He works good in all things.
As it has been said, “If you aren’t dead, you aren’t done.” God still has a purpose for those suffering with dementia. You may not understand the “why” of this disease, but you can know that God is still in control of your life. You aren’t done with your earthly mission until God says you are done.
With dementia, you may become uncertain about who you are or confused by the people around you, but God knows you. You are not and never will be forgotten. God declared: “Can a mother forget her baby? But even if she forgets, I will never forget you” (Isaiah 49:15). In verse 16, God declares that your name is written on the palm of His hand. There is no way you will be forgotten!
You will not lose your salvation if your dementia causes you to forget God. The people of Israel willfully chose to forget God, yet the Word confirms that He saved them for His name’s sake:
They did not remember the abundance of [God’s] steadfast love…
Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power.
(Psalm 106:7, 8)
Claim and continue to trust in these precious promises of God:
“…My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:9, NKJV)
I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:20, NKJV)
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:37-39, NKJV)
Nothing will separate you from God—not even dementia!
When I fear my faith will fail, Christ will hold me fast;
When the tempter would prevail, He will hold me fast.
I could never keep my hold through life’s fearful path;
For my love is often cold; He must hold me fast.
Those He saves are His delight, Christ will hold me fast;
Precious in his holy sight, He will hold me fast.
He’ll not let my soul be lost; His promises shall last;
Bought by Him at such a cost, He will hold me fast.
For my life He bled and died, Christ will hold me fast;
Justice has been satisfied; He will hold me fast.
Raised with Him to endless life, He will hold me fast
‘Till our faith is turned to sight, When He comes at last!
Chorus: He will hold me fast, He will hold me fast;
For my Savior loves me so, He will hold me fast.
Remember that when you feel you no longer have strength to hold on to Him physically, mentally, or spiritually–He will hold on to you. He will hold you fast!
The Bible explains exactly how to receive and/or give comfort during difficult times.
Comfort is found in words–His words: “Wherefore comfort one another with these words”
(1 Thessalonians 4:18). Jesus said: “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11).
Whenever you need comfort during your difficult journey, meditate on the following passages–one of them, a few of them, or a whole bunch of them! You might also want to read portions from the book of Psalms which contains many precious promises.
All verses are the King James Version unless otherwise noted. If you have an encouraging scripture to add to this list, please email it to us.
Old Testament References
Deuteronomy 33:27: The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.
Joshua 1:9: Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
1 Chronicles 16:11: Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.
2 Chronicles 15:7: Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.
2 Chronicles 32:8: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
For the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Psalm 1:1-3: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Psalm 5:11-12: But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.
Psalm 9:9-10: The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
Psalm 16:8-11: I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Psalm 18:2: The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
Psalm 22:19: But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
Psalm 23: The whole Psalm.
Psalm 27:1: The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 28:7-8: The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. The Lord is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.
Psalm 30:2: O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Psalm 31:7: I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities.
Psalm 31:24: Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.
Psalm 32:7-8: Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Psalm 33:20-22: Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.
Psalm 34:15: The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
Psalm 34:18-19: The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
Psalms 37:3: Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed. (TAB)
Psalm 37:23-24: The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.
Psalm 37:39: But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
Psalm 42:11: Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Psalm 46:1-3: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
Psalm 55:16-17: As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
Psalm 55:22: Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
Psalm 57:1-2: Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.
Psalm 71:20: Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
Psalm 73:26: My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
Psalm 84:5-7: Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.
Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength,
Psalm 91: See the extended devotional study of Psalm 91 available free at http://www.harvestime.org
Psalm 103:1-5: Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 107:19-22: Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
Psalm 112:7: He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.
Psalm 118:5-6: I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
Psalm 119:50: This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.
Psalm 119:67-68: Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.
Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.
Psalm 119:76-77: Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant. Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.
Psalm 119:50: This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.
Psalm 120:1: In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me.
Psalm 121: Whole chapter.
Psalm 138:3: In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
Psalm 138:7-8: Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
Psalm 139:7-18: Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
Psalm 147:3: He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
Proverbs 1:33: First pay attention to me, and then relax.
Now you can take it easy you’re in good hands. (MSG)
Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 8:17: I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
Proverbs 14:26: In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
Proverbs 17:22: A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Proverbs 18:10: The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
Proverbs 21:31: 1 Do your best, prepare for the worst–then trust God to bring victory. (MSG)
Isaiah 12:2: Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
Isaiah 25:4: For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
Isaiah 26:3-4: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.
He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.
Isaiah 30:21: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Isaiah 35:4: Tell fearful souls,
Courage! Take heart!
God is here, right here,
on his way to put things right
And redress all wrongs.
He’s on his way! He’ll save you! (MSG)
Isaiah 40:29-31: He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 41:10: Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 41:13: For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
Isaiah 46:4: And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.
Isaiah 49:15-16: Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
Isaiah 51:11-15: Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;
And forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor? The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The Lord of hosts is his name.
Isaiah 53:5: But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 58:8: Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.
Isaiah 61:1: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 32:17: Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:
Habakkuk 3:17-19: Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
Malachi 4:2: But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
New Testament References
Matthew 5:4: Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Matthew 6:34: Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (MSG)
Matthew 7:7-8: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Matthew 8:17: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
Matthew 10:29-31: Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Matthew 11:28-30: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Matthew 16:24-25: Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.
Matthew 18:19-21: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Mark 10:27: And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
Mark 11:24: Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
John 10:10: The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
John 14:1-3: Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
John 14:13-14: And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
John 14:16-18: And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
John 14:27: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 15:7: If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
John 16:24: Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Romans 8:1: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Romans 8:11: But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Romans 8:25-28: Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Romans 8:38-39: For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Corinthians 2:9: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1 Corinthians 15:57-58: But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5: Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:16: For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory: While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 6:18: And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
2 Corinthians 7:9-10: You let the distress bring you to God, not drive you from him. The result was all gain, no loss. Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets. (MSG)
2 Corinthians 12:9-10: And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Ephesians 3:20: God can do anything, you know–far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. (MSG)
Ephesians 6:10: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Philippians 1:6: Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 4:6-7: Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Philippians 4:19: But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 2:14-15: Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Hebrews 4:15-16: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
2 Timothy 1:7: For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
James 1:2-6 : My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
James 5:14-16: Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
1 Peter 5:7: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Jude 1:24-25: Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Revelation 21:4: God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
WHAT ABOUT DIVINE HEALING?
This article explores the definition of divine healing, how death and disease entered the world, how God views sickness, redemption from the curse, how to pray for someone who is terminally ill, and the end results of sickness. References are also provided for study of the biblical basis of healing.
The Bible teaches divine healing from cover-to-cover. We (the founders of this website) believe in God’s promises regarding healing and continue to pray and believe for our loved ones who have been stricken with dementia. We commit to the sovereignty of God, knowing that our loved ones will be healed–whether in this life or through the ultimate healing as they pass into the presence of the Lord.
DEFINITION OF DIVINE HEALING
“Divine” pertains to the one true God and His nature, as revealed in His Word, the Holy Bible.
“Healing” means to cure or make whole. Divine healing is when the one true God reveals His nature, fulfills His promises, and acts upon His provision in the atonement of Christ by making a person whole in body, soul, and spirit.
Divine healing can be both instantaneous (miraculous) or gradual (a process). Although instantaneous healings more fully demonstrate the divine presence and power of God, divine healing which occurs as a process is no less miraculous (Mark 8:22-25). Medical and natural healings are in a sense divine also, because in reality it is always God who enables healing.
Divine healing includes the healing of spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, and demonic conditions. Divine healing is not immunity from sickness, however. Our bodies are in the “process of decay” and susceptible to disease, sickness, accidents, etc. as long as we are in this world. We live in a fallen world, and these problems are an inherent part of it.
Dementia is part of the fallen world in which we live. It is a disease for which there is no cure in the natural word, but as believers, we function in the spiritual world. We believe God’s promises of LIFE:
-New life…through Jesus Christ as Savior.
-Extended life…experiencing complete healing and/or God’s sustaining power in the midst of sickness.
-A Spirit-filled life…facing difficult circumstances through the power of the Holy Spirit.
-Eternal life…the ultimate healing as we enter the presence of the Lord.
HOW DISEASE AND DEATH ENTERED THE WORLD
Genesis chapters l and 2 in the Bible record the story of the creation of man. God created man in His own image, breathed into him the breath of life, and man became a living soul. Man was created with a triune nature of body, soul, and spirit. The body is the physical part of man. The soul and spirit are the spiritual parts which enable him to act, think, feel, react emotionally, and spiritually respond to God. Originally, each part of this triune nature was in harmony with the other two, and the entire triune nature of man was in harmony with God. Man was sinless and healthy in body, soul, and spirit.
Genesis chapter 3 records how the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, sinned against God by disobeying His Word. Their sin brought the curse of sin and death upon all men: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
This curse of death resulted in spiritual separation between man and God, as well as physical death which ends a man’s life. The Bible confirms that Satan is the source of evil in the world. Jesus said he is a thief and…”The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…” (John 10:10). Disease steals health, happiness, money, time, effort, and strength–it kills and destroys.
When the curse of death came upon man, Satan entered the genetic system of the body to begin his destructive mission. In the natural world, God creates a living cell and multiplies it to bring forth life and a new child is born. Satan is not a creator, so he counterfeits this positive process with a negative cycle of his own. He takes a living cell (virus, cancer, etc.) and multiplies it to bring forth death.
Although every disease is not a direct attack of demonic spirits, the elements of sickness exist in the world because of Satan. For example, you might catch pneumonia because you went barefoot in freezing weather. This is not a direct attack of Satan, but the elements of sickness which result in your pneumonia exist in the world because of Satan.
HOW GOD VIEWS SICKNESS
If you understand how God views sickness you will never again doubt its source. God calls sickness captivity (Job 42:10). Jesus came to preach deliverance to the captives:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor, He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. (Luke 4:18)
Jesus called sickness bondage:
And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? (Luke 13:16)
Jesus viewed sickness as oppression and healed those who were oppressed:
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the Devil; for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38)
The Bible identifies death as an enemy: “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death”
(1 Corinthians 15:26).
Sickness–including dementia–is not from God, but everything that comes into the life of a believer is permitted by God. The New Testament speaks of believers as sheep and Jesus as the gatekeeper to the fold. If dementia has come into your life, God allowed it. Why? Like Job, we may never know the answer, but we know the Answerer–and that is enough. (See the Legacy Bible Outline study on the book of Job under “Christian Books” on this website.)
REDEMPTION FROM THE CURSE
Galatians 3:13 declares, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. When Jesus died on the cross, He took the curse of sin and death upon Himself and…
…as by the offense of one (Adam) judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one (Jesus Christ) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Romans 5:18-19)
Salvation and healing are benefits of the atonement made by Jesus on the cross of Calvary. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus took the curse of sin, disease, and death in your place. Because He rose in resurrection life, you too shall rise!
Although you live in a mortal body which is subject to the attacks of both sin and sickness, you are no longer doomed by these curses forever. God forgives your sin and heals your diseases in the present and you will experience the ultimate salvation from sin and sickness when you pass into His presence for all eternity.
THE RESULTS OF SICKNESS
There are only two possible results of a sickness. It will either be for the glory of God or a sickness unto death.
A Sickness For The Glory Of God.
A sickness for the glory of God is one where a person glorifies God through their testimony of His healing or sustaining power. Read the story of a man blind since birth in John chapter nine. Jesus said of this blind man: “… Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in Him” (John 9:3). When the blind man was healed, God received glory through his life and testimony.
|“Jesus and his disciples saw a blind man…the disciples said, ‘Jesus, who sinned?’ Jesus said, ‘No one sinned.’ Then Jesus healed the man. And He eternally answered that our pain is not a result of our sin.”
Inspirational Study Bible
A Sickness Unto Death.
The Bible indicates there is an appointed time for each person to die: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Even those Jesus raised from the dead eventually died. In John 11:4, Jesus said the sickness of Lazarus was “not unto death”– which means that there is a sickness unto death. The goal of divine healing is not immortality. Divine healing does not achieve this any more than medicine does. Unless Jesus returns first, we all will experience death.
As an old man, Moses had no effects of age, but Joshua was “old and well stricken in age.” God preserved one supernaturally until his death, while the other experienced the results of natural aging. Their spirituality had nothing to do with this. Both were great leaders. God will sustain you whether your body experiences the natural processes of age and death by disease or you are supernaturally preserved.
PRAYING FOR HEALING
Where there is life, there is hope. Continue to pray for divine healing and sustaining power unless you know that this is the appointed time of death.
-Pray for healing according to God’s will–not demanding your way, but resigning yourself to the will of God.
-Pray in the Spirit, since the Holy Spirit knows the will of God and will properly make intercession (Romans 8:26).
-Pray for wisdom and sustaining power in this time of difficulty.
-Pray for acceptance of the sovereignty of God–whether in life or death.
Sometimes, despite faith-filled prayers, a person is not healed. In these cases, we must submit to the sovereignty of God and know that He has a purpose–even if we cannot understand it. One of the greatest examples in this generation is the ministry of Joni Eareckson Tada who was paralyzed through a diving accident as a young woman and who–despite prayers for healing–has not experienced healing. Instead, God used her to raise up a great ministry to disabled people, to become an advocate for their cause, and to share biblical hope and inspiration around the world.
|“I believe there is great power in prayer. I believe God heals the wounded, and that he can raise the dead. But I don’t believe we tell God what to do and when to do it…There’s a difference between faith and presumption. There’s a difference between believing He is the Almighty God and demanding He become our divine servant.”
Inspirational Study Bible
THE ULTIMATE HEALING
The Bible does not promise immortality in this world as part of the healing covenant. Do not be disturbed when Christians who believe and have ministered divine healing die from sickness. This happened to Elisha, yet years later his bones had power to raise a dead man. This confirms he could not have died because of lack of faith (2 Kings 13:21).
You or your loved one will experience healing from dementia. For some, God will heal you and you will glorify Him by your testimony, life, and ministry. Others will receive the ultimate healing as they pass through death and victoriously enter the presence of the Lord with a body, soul, and spirit that are perfectly whole. Why the difference? We do not know. We must accept the sovereignty of God, admit we don’t have the answers, and concede that “There are secret things that belong to the Lord our God…” (Deuteronomy 29:29, NLT).
God can give wisdom as to whether or not it is the appointed time to die. If God reveals it is a person’s appointed time, then help them prepare spiritually.
-Be certain they know Jesus as their Savior.
-If they are a believer, be sure there is no unconfessed sin.
-Encourage them to make restitution if there are problems between them and others.
-Help them understand that God is sovereign. He can intervene at any time to permit them to live longer.
-Focus their attention on the resurrection and eternity. Use the following references: Job 19:25- 27; John 11:5-6; Romans 8:10-11, 17-18, 22-23; 10:11; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44,54-58;
2 Corinthians 4:16-18; 5:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
-Help them understand death comes to all. For the believer, death is just an event within the parameters of eternal life. We are not to seek death, but we are not to place such an undue emphasis on the present life that we prefer it to the one to come. Death is an enemy, and it is the last enemy that will be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26). It is the terror of this enemy that is disarmed for the believer through Christ’s death on the cross (1 Corinthians 15:55). If it is time for a believer’s death, God gives dying grace just as He has provided living grace. For the believer, death is the ultimate healing. There is no more pain or sickness and you enter God’s presence perfectly whole. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8).
Sickness and sin are similar in that we are saved from the penalty of sin when we accept Jesus as Savior and Healer. We can be continually delivered from its power as believers, but only in the future when we go to be with the Lord are we saved from its presence. The same is true for sickness and death. We can be healed in this present life, but sickness and death still exist. We only will be completely liberated from them when we experience the ultimate healing and go into the presence of the Lord.
Death was the penalty for sin, and by the death of Christ came life. In death, God performs the ultimate healing. Death is swallowed up in victory because those dead in Christ will rise again:
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:51-55)
When a believer dies, we should rejoice because something precious has occurred: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Psalms 116:15). For the believer, death comes as a release from this world of sin, sickness, and sorrow:
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from Heaven. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened; not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up in life.
(2 Corinthians 5:1-2, 4)
We often make the mistake of living bound by the parameters of time instead of eternity. As a believer, you are already living in eternal life whether you live it on this or the other side of death.
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory: While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
|A man named Arthur Brisbane pictured the funeral of a believer as a crowd of grieving caterpillars all wearing black suits, mourning as they carried a cocoon to its final resting place. Above them fluttered an incredibly beautiful butterfly.
THE BIBLICAL BASIS OF HEALING
For an in-depth study of biblical healing, visit:
Click on “English” in the left menu , then scroll down to the free E-book entitled “Battle For The Body.”
The following Biblical references are provided for further study of divine healing.
Old Testament References
Genesis 17:18-19: God promised to heal Sara’s barrenness.
Genesis 21:1-7: Sara’s barrenness is healed.
Genesis 20:17: God healed Abimelech.
Exodus 4:1-18: Healing of Moses’ leprous hand.
Exodus 15:25-26: God revealed His name as “Jehovah-Rapha” which means, “The Lord Thy Physician.”
Exodus 23:25: God promised to take away sickness from among His people.
Leviticus 16:29-30: Healing of sins.
Numbers 12:1-15: Leprosy is healed.
Numbers 16:41-50: A plague affects Israel.
Numbers 21:4-9: Healing through the symbolic serpent of brass.
Deuteronomy 30:20: God is life and length of days.
Deuteronomy 7:15; 28:60: Diseases of Egypt will not be upon you.
Judges 13:2-24: Manoah’s wife is healed by a “man of God.”
1 Kings 17:17-24: Elijah raises a child from the dead.
2 Kings 4:8-37: Raising of the Shunamite’s son.
2 Kings 5:1-14: The healing of Naaman.
2 Kings 13:14,21: Elisha is sick with a sickness unto death.
2 Kings 20:1-11: Hezekiah’s illness and life extension.
2 Chronicles 20:9: God hears when we cry in affliction.
2 Chronicles 30:20: Healing of people by Hezekiah’s prayers.
2 Chronicles 32:24-26: Hezekiah’s illness and life extension.
Job l-2: These chapters reveal the sources of Job’s problems, including his sickness.
Job 5:18; 30:18: Job talks about His disease.
Psalms 6:2-3: “Oh Lord heal me.”
Psalms 27:1: “The Lord is the strength of my life.”
Psalms 30:2: “I cried and you healed me.”
Psalms 32:3-5: Acknowledged sin results in healing.
Psalms 34:19-20: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
Psalms 38:3,7: Anger and sin affects your health; disease is called “loathsome.”
Psalms 41:1-8: Disease is called evil.
Psalms 42:11; 43:5: God is the health of our countenance.
Psalms 42:1-5: Healing for a downcast spirit.
Psalms 55:1-2: Persevering prayer and healing.
Psalms 67:2: Healing is to be extended to the nations.
Psalms 91:9,10: “Neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”
Psalms 103:1-5: “Forget not His benefits…Who healeth all thy diseases.”
Psalms 107:17-20: “He sent His Word and healed them.”
Psalms 119:25-28: We are strengthened by the Word.
Psalms 119:67: “Before I was afflicted, I went astray.”
Psalms 147:3: “Who heals all thy diseases.” Healing for a broken heart.
Psalms 105:37: “He brought them forth…not one feeble among them.”
Proverbs 4:20-23: The issues of life are affected by heart attitude.
Proverbs 12:18: The tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 15:4,30: A wholesome tongue is life; good reports affect health.
Proverbs 16:24: The Word of God brings healing to the bones.
Proverbs 17:22: A broken spirit affects the bones.
Ecclesiastes 3:3: There is a time to heal.
Isaiah 6:10: Understanding, conversion, healing.
Isaiah 32:3-4: Healing is part of the Kingdom of God.
Isaiah 33:24: “Inhabitants shall say, I am not sick.”
Isaiah 35:5-6: Healing in the Millennium.
Isaiah 38:1-12,16: Hezekiah’s illness and his return to health.
Isaiah 53:5: We are promised healing and deliverance through the atonement.
Isaiah 57:18-19: Draw near for healing.
Isaiah 58:8: Health shall spring forth.
Isaiah 61:1: Jesus was sent to bind up the brokenhearted (emotional healing).
Isaiah 58:8: Health springing forth speedily.
Jeremiah 3:22: God heals backsliding when we return to Him.
Jeremiah 17:14: “Heal me and I will be healed.”
Jeremiah 33:6: “I will cure them.”
Lamentations 3:33: “God does not willingly afflict.”
Daniel 4:34,36: Nebuchadnezzar’s healing.
Hosea 6:1: “He hath torn and He will heal.”
Hosea 7:1: Healing for Israel.
Hosea 11:3: “They knew not I healed them.”
Hosea 14:4: “I will heal their backslidings.”
Malachi 4:2: Healing in His wings.
New Testament References
Matthew 8:13: The point of contact sets the time.
Matthew 8:17: Jesus bore our sicknesses.
Matthew 10:1: Power over sickness and demons is given to the disciples.
Matthew 18:19-21: Any two agreeing receive what is asked.
Mark 2:17: Christ came to heal sinners.
Mark 3:15-17: Christ gives power to heal sicknesses.
Mark 4:18-19: Healing is part of the anointing; Jesus was sent to heal.
Mark 11:24: If you believe when you pray (before you receive), you will receive.
Mark 16:18: In Jesus’ name believers will heal sick and cast out demons.
Luke 5:31: The sick need a physician.
Luke 7:22-23: The most convincing argument for divine healing is experience.
Luke 17:6: Small faith can bring great results.
Luke 18:7-8: Do not give up before your answer comes.
John 6:53-58: The body and blood of Jesus bring life.
John 10:10: Jesus came that we can have life. Satan came to kill, steal, and destroy.
John 11:1-45: A sickness not healed instantly leads to a greater miracle.
John 14:12-13: The works Jesus did, we are to do.
John 15:7: The importance of abiding in Christ in relation to asking and receiving.
John 16:24: Ask in His name and you will receive.
Romans 8:19-23: The whole world is in the process of decay.
2 Corinthians 4:16: Our outward man perishes, but the inward man can be renewed.
Ephesians 3:20-21: God has the power to work in us above all that we ask or think.
Philippians 2:25-27: The illness of Epaphroditus.
Colossians 4:14: Luke, a physician, was part of Paul’s evangelistic team.
2 Timothy 4:20: Trophimus’ illness and recovery.
Hebrews 4:15: He is touched with our infirmities.
Hebrews 11:1: Faith is the evidence of things not seen (including healing).
James 1:8: We must ask in faith and not waver.
James 1:17: Every good gift (including healing) is from God.
James 5:14-15: Calling the elders for anointing, prayer for healing.
2 Peter 2:24: We are healed by His wounds.
2 John 3:22: Whatever we ask we can receive if we are obedient.
3 John 1:2: Health is related to the condition of your soul.
Revelation 20:2-3: When Satan is bound, there will be no more sickness and death.
Revelation 21:4: The final healing: No more sickness and death.
If you or a loved one have just been diagnosed with dementia, you may be feeling shocked, scared, confused, or overwhelmed. Here are some first steps to take on this unexpected journey.
Seek God. As in every crisis of life, before you do anything else, come to God in prayer. Share your heart with Him. Don’t hold back. He knows how you are feeling. If you don’t know what to pray, just let the Holy Spirit intercede through you:
So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance. And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will. (Romans 8:26-27. TAB)
Ask God for wisdom for each step of the way as you begin this journey:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5-6, NKJV)
Immerse yourself in the Word of God–especially the comfort of the Psalms. Listen to soothing praise hymns and songs, as Christian music has calming and healing properties (see 1 Samuel 16:23).
Educate yourself. Learn about the various treatment options and the progression of this disease. As you do this however, remember that God is greater than this disease and any so-called normal stages of progression. Believe for the best, and do not fret over the future:
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (Matthew 6:34, MSG)
To learn more about dementia, start by using the “Practical Resources” and “Christian Resources” available on this website. Your physician is another source of reliable assistance.
Seek spiritual support. Talk with your pastor, mentor, or Christian counselor. They will be able to pray with you and share spiritual encouragement. Continue to socialize with your Christian friends, as social isolation can easily become a problem with this disease.
Form a support system. Forming a support system early on can help you during the progression of this disease. Talk with your family, close friends, and your church family. Let them know how they can assist you presently and in the future.
Form a medical support team. This may include your primary physician, a neurologist, a pharmacist, counselor, and social worker.
Examine your health care options. Meet with a representative from your health insurance carrier to learn what services are covered and what are not–for example, is in-home care or nursing home care provided? If you have a long-term care insurance policy, review it. In addition, learn what resources are available in your community in terms of day care, homecare, and long-term care. You may not need these now or even in the future, but knowing your options can help you remain independent as long as possible and give you confidence to face the future.
Examine your medical options. Update your HIPPA forms (privacy of medical information). Designate someone to act as your health advocate should you become unable to speak for yourself. This is done by granting a medical power of attorney. Inquire regarding information on other forms such as end of life medical directives, POLST forms, etc.
Put your legal and financial affairs in order. You may want to use a financial advisor or attorney to do this. Put important information in one place so it can be easily accessed. See details on this topic on this website under “Practical Resources” and “Legal And Financial Planning”.
Take good care of yourself. If you experience changes in mood–like depression–contact your physician. This is not uncommon in dementia. Also ask your physician regarding healthy lifestyle choice such as exercise, diet, etc. Stay faithful in your daily time with God, as spiritual renewal is the most important thing you can do to care for yourself–body, soul, and spirit.
There is tremendous spiritual power and healing in music, but many dementia patients do not relate to the modern worship songs. Here are some hymns that older people with memory issues will enjoy listening to and/or singing:
At The Cross
Holy, Holy, Holy
In The Garden
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Jesus Paid It All
How Great Thou Art
I Love To Tell The Story
I’ll Fly Away
It Is Well With My Soul
The Old Rugged Cross
There Is Power In The Blood
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
We also recommend music by Terry Macalmon, especially his album entitled “Timeless Praise”, instrumental treasures from the past. Click here to listen, download, or purchase it on Amazon.com:
VISITING SOMEONE WITH DEMENTIA
-Educate yourself about dementia using the “” on this site. It is important to know the stage of dementia the person is experiencing so you can be prepared.
-Ask primary caregivers regarding the best time to visit. Plan your visit during the hours that best fit into their regular routine.
-If the person you are visiting is hospitalized and/or in a care facility, abide by the visiting hours.
-When you greet the person, it is helpful to say your name. (“Hi Dad. It’s Patty.) This alleviates the stress of the person trying to remember who you are. Very often they will parrot your name back (“Hi Patty.”)
-Always approach them from the front. Do not tap them on the shoulder or startle them.
-Sit at the same level, make eye contact, and touch their hand if appropriate.
-Speak simply, one comment at a time. Allow time for their responses.
-Take along a Christian magazine, book, music, or movie that you can enjoy together.
-There are many environmental DVDs–some with Christian music and scriptures. These videos of mountains, streams, animals, etc., would be a blessing to someone who is housebound.
-Take along an audio recording of a service from their church and listen to it together.
-Play a simple game, if they are still capable of doing so.
-Take along photographs to share.
-Reminisce about the past–people, places, and experiences you have shared.
-Take along a special food treat that the person enjoys. Check first with the caregiver or care facility to be sure it is okay for them to have it.
-Ask about the person’s hobbies, interests, and life.
-Keep trips and activities simple. Give instructions, questions, or explanations regarding these simple and speak slowly. For example: “It is such a nice day. Would you like to go outside?”
-If you take the person on an outing, do not leave them alone in a store, restaurant, or car. Some tend to wander.
-Do not take the person’s behaviors personally. It is the disease that is acting and speaking, not your friend or loved one.
-Ignore statements that are incorrect. Do not argue or try to convince a person differently, as they may be unable to think logically.
-Be patient when a person is trying to find the right word. Fill in missing words only if he/she encourages you to do so.
-Do not scold the person or get angry. It is the disease, not the person, that is the problem.
-In later stages of dementia, if a person asks about someone who has already passed away, do not tell them that the person is dead. Because they cannot remember, the grief is fresh each time you tell them. Simply say: “Aunt Sally couldn’t come today”–or a similar statement–then change the subject.
-Sometimes, a person just wants someone to be with them. You don’t have to make conversation. Just hold their hand and let them know you are there.
-Your visit does not have to be lengthy, especially in late stage dementia, as the person may tire easily.
-To conclude your visit:
-Always share an encouraging word from the Bible. Use a familiar Bible version–most often this will be the King James Version.
-Pray with them.
-Tell them you will visit again soon.