To Reach a Reason
To Reach a Reason
Finding Spiritual Fulfillment as a Caregiver
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The experience of being a caregiver for a loved one is an uncertain journey of challenges and choices. Many adult children are graduating into a world of a different “normal.”

In To Reach a Reason, this became a true, spiritual journey, during the course of ten years. A story unfolds among one of several caregivers, in a family who unyieldingly took on the task of giving care to their mom, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

The most challenging of times evolved into a spiritual journey, which bore the fruits of both abundant and unexpected blessings.

This is the true story of the way God unfolded his will and his word as he showed me how to reach a reason through wisdom, strength, and hope as a caregiver. My mom’s affliction with Alzheimer’s disease became a journey into how God can turn a life for those affected into blessings beyond measure. I believe that my faith has unfolded a consciousness within my spirit that allowed me to reach a reason for this journey. I believe God directed me, as the progression of my mom’s illness began to saturate her life, to focus on the continued significance of her life. She could still be a help and a hope to other people. For example, having found out about a study for Alzheimer’s patients, my mom was able to participate (during the early stage of her illness) in a medical study with other participants all over the country to help others learn more about the disease. The Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study, University of California, San Diego, allowed my mom to participate and help with the design of future studies of potential Alzheimer’s treatments. The local staff in Cleveland, Ohio, administered and managed the DHA clinical trial, which lasted for more than a year. They would share the study with the scientific community, and her contribution would have a lasting effect. Also, my mom continued to attend and participate in various activities at a senior center and in adult day programs. She tried to help and assist others during her attendance at the senior center. People were blessed by her friendship and quiet spirit. Many of the seniors she met looked out for her and provided assistance when she was in need. Their kindness and compassion were gifts they freely shared with her. The staff also said that my mom’s smile was a blessing to them. My mom could still go for short walks outdoors, walks in the mall, attend outdoor events (such as musical concerts), participate in family gatherings, take short trips to visit family, and attend Saturday mass. Though my mom’s Alzheimer’s disease had an effect on her human connection with the world, amazingly, her spiritual connection continued to maintain its own existence. The rosary, for example, remained an important focus in her mind regarding her Christianity. Early in her illness, she sought to pray daily with her rosary, and while able to attend mass, she could recite specific prayers without any interruptive distraction. It was as if her spiritual being was one of two persons, although her human presence was slipping away. After a period of time, my mom was eventually confined to home. She had a sense of peacefulness with the presence of family around her. God’s purpose was to direct my mom’s life down a path that our family did not expect, but at the same time, his purpose and plan directed our family toward the completion of his will through her illness. Our goal as a family was to care for her needs. This was a challenging venture, but it was also a blessing to have her at home. With God’s intervention, worry turned into wisdom, struggle turned into strength, and hardship turned into hope.

D. Rogers has worked in the field of aging with various organizations for thirty years. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband, Kenneth, and has two children. She is also first lady of her church, and serves with her husband, who is pastor.

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