Freedom from fear of dementia

Rebecca Odegaard, C.S.B.

In this live chat, Rebecca addresses questions from caregivers, spouses, and others about how to help individuals struggling with different aspects of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. She brings out the importance of identifying oneself spiritually, as God's idea, totally complete, never subject to loss of any kind. This daily prayer is a kind of bedrock that enables us to go forward and face the day, whatever it may bring.

She says that man's thoughts--meaning the men and women of God's creation--come from God, the divine Mind. God’s message to each of us is: “I am always with you, I will never forsake you, you are Mine.” We can claim this truth even for people who, as a result of the disease, are no longer able to communicate. God truly is taking care of them. Rebecca notes that waking to the spiritual reality of our completeness as God’s children is work, done thought by thought, sifting our consciousness. God's idea has nothing to do with suffering or loss of any kind. God gives joy, life itself!

Topics covered include dealing with memory and personality disorder, and the belief that dementia is progressive, hereditary. Rebecca also addresses the need to overcome discouragement when a loved one doesn’t seem to be making progress, helping people see beyond the conviction that the brain determines one’s mental fitness, the importance of not putting one’s own spiritual growth “on hold,” while caring for someone in need.

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