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Gary Chapman and Lisa Anderson discuss the challenges families face when a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. And your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly. Jim Daly: John, this can be one of the most unsettling situations in our families and in our culture today, and that’s Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. We’re going to unpack that, talk about it - the pressure it puts on everyone - and what does the Lord expect of us in that moment? But it does mean that the mental abilities are on a downward trend and it will get worse as time goes on. Jim: And it’s a kind of across the board diminishing of capability, right? Jim: Any kind of difficult - adding, subtracting, doing daily chores, just going to the grocery store. Gary: Well, one, in the early stage, also, they might lose interest in things that they were interested in through the years. Impaired judgment - they’re making very, very poor decisions that you know they would never have made them before. Excerpt: Lisa Anderson: One thing that’s been helpful for me is constantly reminding myself that this is a disease.
Our guests offer encouragement to caregivers and practical suggestions for showing love and support to someone with diminishing mental capabilities. Now, if he says, “It’s blue” and it’s really green, I say, “Yes. Many of our listeners may be in that situation right now, or you have a friend or extended family member. Gary: Yeah, and it depends on the stage, of course. And it gets worse as time goes on and they’re less and less able to do things. They may also have personality changes, real personality changes. And then they get to the place where they can’t do multitasking. Gary: But, you know, the feeling that somebody’s, you know, stealing their clothes, or in a spousal situation, they sometimes will accuse their spouse of having an affair - you’re seeing someone else; I know you are. Gary: Yeah, and they could be in their 70s, absolutely. So to not make my mom responsible for reactions, for bad attitude, for, you know, I’m going to sit there and I’m going to think I can reason with her. And so constantly saying, “Lisa, remember, this is the dementia, this is the dementia.”End of Excerpt which has sold more than five million copies and has been translated into nearly 40 languages. Chapman holds several academic degrees including a Ph. in adult education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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End of Teaser John Fuller: Well, those comments reflect some of the pain and the difficulties in caring for a person with mental decline or dementia. Jim: What would be that definition of dementia, just the layman’s term? And it’s a vibrant, interactive community that addresses singleness and marriage, and growing closer to Christ.Most of all, we are proud of our dedicated team, who has both the creativity and understanding of our clients' needs.Our writers always follow your instructions and bring fresh ideas to the table, which remains a huge part of success in writing an essay.She can’t afford long-term care, didn’t have insurance, along those lines. Jim: Let me ask you this - that’s very vulnerable of you, in terms of your motivation.(LAUGHTER)Jim: I mean, it’s, like, a hero thing. Jim: You wanted to be - you said that - you wanted to be a hero. Lisa: I think, genuinely, I knew that I wanted to care for mom. I knew I wanted her to finish well in this season of life. It’s going to happen, typically, unless the Lord intervenes in some miraculous way. Was that consistent with your experience thus far and where is your mom at in that process? And it started with word-finding problems and then moved to - really, the big thing for me was I was out visiting, she was doing her pills for the week - putting them in the little boxes.
So, I think that was all genuine and very, you know, motivation was good there. Kind of glamorized it, as to what it would be like? Gary: Yeah, and it’s not uncommon that family members will have different opinions about what should be done. In our book, we simply talk about three basic stages - the early stage, the middle stage and the latter stage.
(Part 1 of 2) Teaser:1st Woman: Early on, I used to argue with Dan. I would encourage you to get a copy of the CD or the download or the smartphone app - whatever it takes - and point friends to it as well. If it’s not directly impacting you, you can help a friend in this way. He’s been here at the Focus studios many times and he’s an author, pastor, counselor, radio host. Jim: Yeah, and we’re going to - we’ll talk about the stages in a little while. (Laughter) I mean, that does - but people do worry about that. Jim: In describing the stages, and sorry to interrupt this, but when should a person say, maybe I do have an issue? For example, they can’t cook, they can’t go out and buy the food. Jim: Yeah, reasonably easy tasks, but a series of tasks where they can’t link them together. So, you know, those kind of things are in the middle stage. Lisa Anderson is Focus on the Family's Director of Young Adults, and the manager of Boundless, Focus' ministry for helping 20- and 30-somethings grow up, own their faith, date with purpose and prepare for marriage and family.