Last month, one of the most capable women I know was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Ann* is one of 60,000 people this year who will be given this life changing diagnosis. At age 60, she is looking for hope and solutions for this next phase of her life. I remember Ann telling me, “You can take away my ability to walk, but please don’t take away my ability to think”. How do we find faith in Ann’s future?
At AKOTA Home Care, we see patients and their families struggling with the realities of memory and movement disorders. If you are reading this blog, you probably know the statistics: one in ten people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s dementia. Mrs. B* refuses to be discouraged by her disease. “Although I see how Alzheimer’s is affecting me, I have faith that something good will come out of this.”
In the past month, I have realized there are many ways to look at the memory and movement disorders epidemic. Some look at the problem as a business opportunity. They build more and more memory care facilities; they anticipate the growth in Senior services, they look for a niche in the market. Others look at the epidemic with despair. The PBS documentary about Alzheimer’s Disease, Every Minute Counts, spends an hour outlining the despair, the anguish, and the expense that families face as they care for their parents.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Faith in Christ means that we have faith in the future.
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s don’t have to be met with resignation and hopelessness. In Matthew 13, Jesus tells us:
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches. (Mt. 13:31-32)
Our faith is a small seed of hope in the midst of discouragement. If we focus on a future of hope and healing, rather than disease and disability we can find the possibility of growth; the large bush that is the resting place for life.
Where are these seeds of faith planted?
One place these small seeds of faith are growing is at Georgetown University’s Clinics for both Movement and Memory Disorders. Their ground-breaking research is showing marked improvements for Parkinson’s and Dementia patients. Dr. Yaghi, a researcher for movement disorders said to me, “Others are building memory care facilities to house patients. We are working so that there is no need for these facilities.” Ann has already made an appointment with the Movement Disorders Clinic. Mrs. B. is excited to give the Memory Disorder Clinic a try. “If I can help someone else, and even help myself, it would be a gift to all of us.” This is what we call Faith in the Future.
At AKOTA Home Care, we celebrate organizations like Georgetown University Medical Center; organizations that see hope where others see despair. We see our company as an opportunity to love and serve people as they deal with the day to day realities of memory and movement disorders. Like you, we look forward to the day that our patients experience healing rather than disease.
Right now, your faith in the future may be the size of a mustard seed. If this is true, please remember Christ’s hope: surrounded by a community who want to love and serve you, that small seed can grow and flourish into the largest of plants.
Just like Dr. Yaghi, we believe there is faith in your future.
For more information about Georgetown Medical Center’s research, please see the following:
For the Memory Disorders Clinic: https://memory.georgetown.edu/#_ga=2.200498925.275986980.1499886330-1388207157.1499694662
For the Movement Disorders Clinic: https://neurology.georgetown.edu/patientcare/centers/movementdisorders
To learn more about AKOTA Home Care visit: www.AKOTAhc.com
*Names have been changed to protect privacy