August, 2018 LISTEN

How many times have you heard the phrase: God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason!?

With that in mind, let’s stop for a moment and LISTEN.  Listen to our loved one as they talk incoherently; or maybe they demand much and talk all day; maybe they do not talk at all.  Stop and truly listen.  My mother-in-law loved to talk on the phone and would call me multiple times a day.  I hated it.  I now understand she just needed someone to LISTEN. 

As you stop and LISTEN, what sounds of God’s creation do you also hear?  I love to hear the tree frogs at night.  During the day, I love to LISTEN to the birds singing to each other and to me!  As we stop, LISTEN for the special gifts God is giving you today!

James 1:19, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”

July, 2018 Selfishness!

Selfishness – I just had a new granddaughter and am amazed at how selfish I can be regarding my time.  My granddaughter can do nothing for herself and is very demanding when she wants to eat.  I once said, “All babies do is eat, sleep, and cry”.  I think that is still true but as a grandma, I love it! 

As caregivers of the elderly, we may feel our loved ones are demanding of our time as well.  Many times, I battled with selfishness: this is my house, my kitchen, my dining room…don’t tell me what to do!  But what is our purpose in caregiving?  From the cradle to the grave it is this: To show love to everyone else, while giving God the work of changing my heart!  Thank God for the opportunities to serve and enjoy our freedom today!



Dementia 101

Dementia: A usually progressive condition (as Alzheimer's disease) marked by deteriorated cognitive functioning often with emotional apathy.  To many this is a terrifying diagnosis.  True Alzheimer’s Disease begins at an early age (50’s) while Dementia typically occurs in the elderly. AD actually is just one of many diseases that can cause dementia. Other conditions are Vascular dementia, Dementia with Lewy body’s, Parkinson’s disease, Progressive supranuclear palsy…and more.  In the past, it was called Hardening of the arteries, Atherosclerosis, Old Age, Senile Dementia.

What are some early symptoms of AD?  1. Misplaced keys, glasses or other items; 2. Look up a recipe but are unable to follow it; 3. Start something and forget to finish it; 4. Difficulty with numbers/paying bills/writing the correct amount on a check/mailing the bills; and many others. 

What are some do’s and don’ts for dealing with dementia?  Some do’s: be flexible; spend time with them; keep trips short and simple; enjoy the moments…  Some don’ts: Don’t take good or bad behavior personally; don’t raise your voice or scold the person as you would a child; don’t argue, correct or try to reason with them…to name a few.

For more complete help go to YouTube: Biblical Caregiving and listen to the session on Dementia.

REMEMBER:  The changes in how they act are caused by brain damage.  They cannot control how they act. It is part of the disease.

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Many places this April have had a never-ending winter.  However, the flowers are still peeking through the ground and warmer weather is coming!  During the long winter of day-in and day-out of caregiving, we know it will not last forever!  What are some things you can do to ‘enjoy’ the journey?  Number one: daily devotions, read scripture to your loved one and play the old hymns regularly.  Number two: ‘choose joy’.  Caregiving can be boring and busy at the same time.  Embrace the challenge! What will your adventure be today? You are doing a great job – stay with it even as the seasons change!

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

The fact that He is risen should give us, as caregivers, tremendous hope.  There is hope for the future where all caregivers will be out of a job!  For many that thought is “Hallelujah, it can not come too soon!” …for others it is “bittersweet.”  Caregivers often do not want to be there, but neither would they be anywhere else.  Stop what you are doing, take a deep breath and realize you are one day closer to being finished with this current, difficult lifestyle! Rejoice and Rest in  Hope!

Hope with Hospice

Hope with Hospice

In light of Rev. Billy Graham’s homegoing, I would like to address the topic of Hospice.  Hospice focuses on relieving symptoms and supporting patients with a life expectancy of months, not years. It involves a team-oriented approach to give expert medical care, pain management and emotional and spiritual support not only to the patient but also to their caregivers. In most cases, this care is provided to a patient in his or her own home. However, it can also be provided in a freestanding facility, the hospital, or a nursing home.

It can be frightening if you dwell on the fact you may be alone with your loved one as they are facing the end of life.  “What will I do? Who can I call?” are a couple of the questions most caregivers think about.  Hospice can provide a tremendous amount of support and comfort.  Specialized nurses prefer to accept new patients into the program who are not imminently facing death.  They will provide care for up to six months and renew it every six months as needed.  Knowing someone will be there for you and help you with pain management, respiratory care, bowel and bladder care or other issues will never be a waste of time! 

In some areas, there are multiple agencies providing this care.  If you happen to not like the first agency, do not be afraid to talk to your doctor and request a different agency. 

Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Love for those with Dementia

February is called a month of LOVE. I was asked in the past, “What do you do when your loved one acts like a child?”  My response was, “You treat them with respect as your elder”.

What are some ways to love the person with dementia?  All senses are altered, and it is difficult for the brain to process the changes.  Reaching out and touching, hugging, or holding hands can go a long way in calming an agitated loved one.

Playing old hymns or other soft music of their era will sometimes provide comfort and calm. 

It is never easy for the caregiver, but showing love in facial expressions and actions can go a long way in maintaining a peaceful environment.

If you are in the Clemson, SC area, I will be teaching a course titled “Dealing with Dementia” at

OLLI (Clemson’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute)


100 Thomas Green Blvd.
Clemson, SC 29631

Phone: 864-633-5242

Wednesday, February 21 at 11 AM - 12:30 PM

Sign up at – Limit 20


I have said many times “The days are long, but the years are short” and never is that more apparent than at the start of a new year!  About halfway through last year, I adopted the phrase “Choose Joy” as my theme for the year.  (James 1:2-3 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”). 

I am trying to decide what theme will help me serve and encourage other caregivers as well as myself on our caregiving journey.  Below are some options.  What do you think?

1.     Choose Joy

2.     No Fear

3.     Trust God

4.     Making Memories

5.     No Regrets

6.     Accept Help

7.     Stay Faithful

8.     Other: _____________

I would like to challenge you to choose a theme for this year and select a scripture verse to back it up.  Also, ask someone to hold you accountable for your choice. You are welcome to share below your choice and/or thoughts as we Stay Faithful to what God has planned for 2018. (Comments only require Name and Email address)

1 Thessalonians 5:23-25, “ And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”


Merry Christmas, 2017!

Merry Christmas!

Another year has come and gone.  How much TIME have you spent with your senior loved ones this year?

Time is the number one gift you can give, but what are some other gifts you can give to the elderly in your care?  There are many gifts I would NOT recommend: perfume, powder, makeup, knick-knacks, new ‘techno’ gadgets to name a few.

What are some good gifts?  Fuzzy socks with rubber dots on the bottom, a twin-size electric blanket, flowers are ok – but make sure they are not overly fragrant, a new pillow and sheet set, or new towels.  Please note: if you purchase a new towel and washcloth for the elderly, make sure it is “thin” but soft.  Thick and luxurious towels are only wonderful for non-arthritic hands.  Pre-made meals for one (one cup size for one person) to put in the freezer are always welcome.  Sugar free cough drops or candy are great to place near their chair or bedside.  Light-weight drinking cups with a lid and an optional straw are wonderful to prevent spills from shaky hands.  Christmas mail is also wonderful.  I have seen many seniors who still love to get mail.  (That is snail-mail not email).

Love your senior adults, spend time with them and live with NO REGRETS!

Choose Joy and Give Thanks!

November, 2017

Fall, cool weather, sweaters, coats, electric blankets, etc, etc, etc.

Oh the joy of changing seasons!

As your house gets cooler and the thermostat goes higher so will your power bills. One way to keep your loved one warm (without roasting everyone else), is to purchase a twin-size electric blanket and use it not only for the bed but also for them as they sit in their chair during the day. Heat their clothes in the dryer (not the microwave) before dressing for the day or for the night. Warm, fuzzy socks are always appreciated but this time of year, you can purchase them with rubber dots to prevent falls. Stock up on them to use all year!   

As you plan for Thanksgiving, remember to CHOOSE JOY!  Many stressors will come and go throughout the month with additional family, friends and food.  Don't let it get you down!  Choose to give thanks and rejoice in the position God has given you!