Prayer For Dementia Caregivers
Abba Father, Thank you for your fatherhood in life, for the comfort in knowing I am safe, accepted and loved by you. Help me as I care for others to have your heart, the heart of a loving Father who cares deeply for these beautiful people. Please bless the work of my hands as I tend to physical needs, inspire my words as I offer comfort and support, and strengthen my heart to always seek to love. I lay before you the weariness I can feel, the challenges I face and the suffering I share in. Abba Father, be my carer as I seek to give out your blessings to those in need. Amen.
Loving Lord, Thank you for the gift of these few minutes to stop and breathe and to remember that you are with me in this very moment.
Dementia is an illness that tempts me to question why such a thing would exist. I am losing my loved one a lit bit every day, and at times it is so sad for me.
But I have confidence in your words that all the days ordained for me (and my loved one!) were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16b).
Help me to see my loved one and our situation through your eyes. Show me all the ways you are present so that the caregiving struggles that tempt me to question myself turn into signposts that assure me of your presence.
Remind me that one mishap does not govern my entire day; that my day is made up of moments just like this one and that you are creating anew every single moment.
Help me to not feel trapped in a situation where I sometimes feel powerless and to find ways where freedom abounds, even if only is for five minutes sitting with my feet up and drinking a cup of coffee.
Give me the courage to reach out for help when I feel overwhelmed, and direct me to those who want to support me but who count on me to tell them how they can do that.
Above all, Lord, give me hope; hope that my efforts are everything my loved one needs, hope that tomorrow will bring me answers to questions I have today, and hope in your words that I truly can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Amen.
I'm going to need a lot of help
to become a good caregiver.
I'm counting on you, God, for that.
Help me grow patience for this journey.
Help me forgive myself for all the ways I fail.
Show me how to see that heart within
that longs for unconditional love,
just like me.
Show me how to know that soul
that shines in the light of divine love,
just like mine.
Show me myself in this person.
Show me this person in me.
Help me listen to a thousand repetitions
without getting angry.
Help me to say, "Uh-Huh," instead of
"I already told you that!"
Help me not be frightened or repelled
by a grown-up needing guidance
and help like a child.
Help me laugh when
I find sheets in the oven,
socks on hands,
underwear over pants,
someone undressed and back in bed
I just spent an hour getting up.
Help me be kind, to myslef and others.
To say, "Oh well!" when I lose my temper.
To say, "I'm sorry" when I owe it,
To say, "Never mind" and mean it,
To say, "Oops" and not scold.
Help me remind myself that,
next to the end of civilization as we know it,
this really isn't so much.
Help me forgive this person's illness.
Help me forgive my lack of empathy.
Help me remind myself that
I don't have to be perfect
and, as you know, God,
that's a good thing,
Help me to journey to the place where
it's enough to be the people we both are.
Help me be amused instead of judgemental.
Help me stop blaming someone for their illness.
Help me be kind
instead of angry and frightened.
Help me give more than I ever got.
Help me grow into the person
who can love everyone exactly as they are,
Help me be willing
to become my parent's parent
instead of resisting with anger.
Help me learn how to have fn,
how to travel into different time zones
with my parent
who thinks this is 1928 in South Dakota.
Help me understand
that when my 88-year-old mother
asks me when her mother is coming home
it means she needs a mother.
Help me be that mother.
Help me think about the fact
that sometimes everyone feels
like a motherless child.
Help me feel that gap.
Help me know and understand that
as I become what others need
I become that for myself.
I'd be really grateful, Lord,
if you could do all that for me really fast.
Or maybe at least,
you could rush me some patience.
Help me not to be fixated on always trying to understand my loved one
and always wanting for him/her to understand me;
what he/she is trying to communicate;
all the "whys" and" hows" of this disease;
but to just understand and listen most of all;
and to recognize that the progression of the disease
is destroying my loved one's brain, not the person behind the disease.
Give me the grace to have what I already have and to make it grow;
help me to reap a personal sense of calm and restfulness in the
midst of my loved one's devastating disease
and to extend that peace in his/her daily care.
Loving God, Healer and Comforter, we pray for those who suffer from the anxiety, ambiguity and confusion of dementia, and in a special way for their caregivers.
Give them patience as they work through familiar daily scripts and questions asked, answered and asked again.
Give them long memories to recall the fullness of their loved one's life beyond these moments of forgetting.
Give them the grace to let go of what was and embrace what is in love.
When the pain of being forgotten and the grinding trials become too much, comfort them with the promise of your Resurrection where every tear shall be wiped away and we shall know each other once more.
God of all mercies, sustain those who care for others. Grant them what they need for the moments ahead. We ask this through the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes, Amen.
Holy Spirit, help me to look past what is so irritating about them to see Jesus suffering in them.
Holy Spirit, help me to separate from this disease their past sins and my memories of their shortcomings, and to forgive them for the past and not hold today's deteriorating brain against them.
Holy Spirit, help me to remember that I am serving Jesus when I am dealing with someone who has dementia. Be my strength, Lord Jesus, to help You carry their cross. Father, forgive them, for they truly do not know what they are doing.
Holy Spirit, help me to accept the reality that the problems I am having with them today are caused by gaps in their brains, and as those gaps continue to increase, provide me with Your ability to bridge those gaps. But when I fail, help me to know that You are pleased that I have tried, lessening the sting of the failure.
Although it may be difficult for me to feel compassion for someone who is mistreating me through their dementia-driven anger and accusations, maybe even through eyes that never saw me the way I wanted them to, help me, O Lord, to feel Your peace as I minister to You by caring for them. And as You help me to see Your suffering in them, also give me eyes to also see You as One who is caring for me. Help me to become more aware of how much You care about me.
Thank You, my God, for Your closeness and compassion and for Your supernatural help.