Caregiving For Alzheimers Patients

QUESTION: Caregiving for Alzheimer’s patients – Should I consider the patient’s eternal destiny?


Alzheimer’s disease struck our family in a hard way. Both my Uncle Bob and Aunt Winnie were victims at about the same time. Since they had no children of their own, the care taking responsibility fell upon me.

Alzheimer’s can start slowly and as it did with Bob and Winnie. One day Bob was telling us about his experiences in the war. The only problem was that he never was in any war. It went downhill from there. Interestingly, his wife seemed to digress at about the same pace.

What to do? These just were not the same people that we all knew. They could not live alone any longer. How do we care for them? These are questions with which all who have family or close friends struggling with Alzheimer’s must deal.

We did eventually figure out answers to those dilemmas mostly by using in-home care. But still the biggest one remained: the one of their eternal destiny. Since the Bible is clear that we are accepted by God because of our faith in Him (Ephesians 2:8), what if Bob and Winnie were no longer capable of faith or even understanding about God? I would try to talk with them about the subject, but Alzheimer’s had taken away any chance of them really “hearing.”

After a lot of struggling for answers, I decided to rest upon several biblical truths.
  • God is love (1 John 4:8). He only wants the best and He desires no one should perish (Matthew 18:14).
  • God knows everything. And that would include the heart of my aunt and uncle. If they loved Him, He would know it whether or not they could express it.
  • It would be their faith (or lack of it) while they still had their minds that would determine their eternal destiny.
Yes, Alzheimer’s disease is tough. We prayed a lot and yet still had a lot of struggles. I know the Lord taught us many things but especially to love those who could no longer return that love. I had to depend on the Lord and it is He who helped us every day. I believe He will do the same for you.

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WHAT DO YOU THINK? - We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?

Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus

Yes, I am already a follower of Jesus

I still have questions