Isaiah 46:4 - Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
You’ve just gotten off work for the day and you have a few minutes, so you decide to visit your mom. You haven’t always had the best relationship with her, but over time you grew close again.
You pull up to the street and head out of your car towards the door when you notice it’s already opened. Your heart begins to beat rapidly as you hope something hasn’t happened to your mom.
You enter your mom’s home and start calling her name. You hold your nose because it smells like something is burning. You call your mom’s name again, as you reach the stove and take off the burning pan.
Searching from room-to-room you discover your mom watching TV in the living room; oblivious to what’s going on around her.
It’s happened again.
Your mom forgot that she had something cooking on the stove. She’s done this before, but not to this extent where the pan was burning. You also notice how cold it is in her mom. Maybe because the door was left over, but you discover she’d turned off the heater.
You sigh and move into the living room sitting down next to your mom. Once again you have a conversation with her about leaving things on the stove and not watching it. She shakes her head and says that she has no idea what you’re talking about then tells you to leave her alone and let her finish watching her favorite TV show.
Though there is grief involved when a parent dies, there is also another kind of grief – losing a parent when they develop dementia. Though you don’t lose her here on earth, you still lose her as you watch them lose a little bit of themselves day-by-day.
How do you know when it’s time to consider your parent can’t live alone anymore? And is it simply finding someone to live with her, or does it mean it’s time for them to go into a care home. Caring.com posts an article titled, “11 Signs it Might be Time for Assisted Living,” which shows signs such as piles of mail in various places and stale or expired foods in their kitchen.
Though it can break your heart when you realize one of your parents has to move into an assisted living facility, there can still be time for you to be part of your parent’s life. And always remember, as the Bible verse above says, God will sustain your loved one and carry them even to their old age.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.