When Dementia Rules the Roost

Last Thursday, we closed the pages on the short chapter of having P&G stay in assisted living. It was a commendable effort that they tried it out for almost 2 weeks (for the record, moved in on 12/28 and moved out on 1/08). It took a lot more effort to get the furniture ready, moved in, and then moved back out.

With elderly caregiving, the free will of decisions made by the elderly has to be respected and honored. We cannot force anyone to do something against their will. And it is quite debatable how wise decisions are being made. Can good decisions be made based on feelings and faith alone?

In short, they’ve don’t like staying there, even though everything is prepared and ready for them—room & board, cooking, cleaning, sheets & towels, social activities, personal assistance at the touch of a button. They like staying at home better, where they’ve had years of routine and comfortable experiences. Yes, people generally do like the cozy home feeling of home sweet home. But things change when our body and mind ages; and some adjustments do have to be made for the sake of safety, sanity, and well-being. It’s not uncommon for some elderly people to resist changes of any kind. Actually, not uncommon for some people of any age to resist changes.

Now that they’re back home in a 2-story house, please join us in prayer for their safety and coming to understand that changes are required for their short-term and long-term safety, health, and well-being. Yes can pray for their protection. But maybe some pain will happen before change comes. Lord have mercy.

And for the rest of us, a handful of relatives that cannot intervene, please pray for our collective wisdom on navigating this whole situation, for the elderly’s cooperation and their finances. And for the weary ones burnt out, please pray for a healthy recovery process that we’re anticipating to be 3 to 6 months.


How can you help?

Thank you for being kind, generous, and supportive for Rachelle during this time. Many have offered to help, with words like “Let us know if there is anything we can do to help.”

For some people, they don’t know how to respond to that, since they’re unaware of what they need, or don’t like to ask for help, or don’t want to impose on others.

So I can share with you 3 things that would be helpful for Rachelle and well-received:

  • Handwritten notes. In our digital lives, she much prefers the analog, the print, even cursive. She loves paper and letterpress too. You can scan it as an image and email to [email protected] or snail mail it to: 48 Meridian Dr., Aliso Viejo, CA 92656.
  • Gifts with bright colors. Rachelle is a very creative artist (voted most creative in high school, if I remember correctly), and bright bold colors thrill her (not pastels or greys.) Flowers and candles are awesome; creative gifts beyond that even better.
  • Food and restaurant gift cards. Grubhub or Uber Eats are best. Yes, food is very comforting. Gift cards make it easier (efficiency is a high value for her) so she can choose what, when, and where to eat.

For now, she’s not ready to receive calls or visits. When she is, you’ll be the first to know.

I’m grateful that I’m doing well, so far. I’m in a good and health season, as support Rachelle through this. If you’d like to send an encouragement to me, what’d help me the most is a phone call. My # is 949-243-7260.

Thank you again for your love and care, prayer and support.

// personal update: we’re advising Rachelle to do one thing a day, so she can focus her energy on resting and healing, with no planning and no responsibilities.

How We Can Pray Together

Thank you for caring, commenting, and praying. Rachelle is responding well to her body that is telling her to rest. She can only do 2-3 things a day, then she needs to sleep. That’s a good thing. We have taken away her phone, to support her need to unplug and to help quiet the racing thoughts haunting her.

We have come to realize that Rachelle cannot be her parents’ caregiver to keep her health and sanity. Her Cantonese-speaking parents, ages 81 and 83, have strong preferences and think they’re healthy, don’t need care, and resist medical assessment or taking medicine But truth is: he has very high blood pressure, with risk of stroke imminent; she has dementia and recurring anxiety. Further decline is coming next; how soon we don’t know.

Our prayer is that her parents would soften their hearts to accept the provision of Rowntree Gardens’ assisted living as their new home. Rowntree has a fixed pricing plan available that can fit within their budget if their house is sold; and that will provide the finances for their room & board, care, quality of life, and safety. The miracle would be the parents surrender to this provision.

R’s parents prayer is that they are temporarily staying at Rowntree, and they want to move back home asap. But they don’t have finances to cover the necessary caregiving costs that is already imminent as their health continues to decline. Their prayer is for God’s provision for their finances and their care at home.

How will God answer? Will He answer the prayers of many, or of the few, or a whole unexpected surprise? In His time and in His way, we’ll find out, eh?

Praying in the New Year 2022

This new year 2022 started off with an unexpected surprise. R experienced what some would call exhaustion and burnout from her efforts in elderly caregiving for her parents, ages 81 and 83.

Please pray for Rachelle’s protection and self-care, the past 3 months of caregiving has taken a toll on her mind and body. She held it together as long as she could, now she can’t no more. She needs a safe place and space away from her parents. She needs to release worry and panic about them. She needs healing. We are in a safe undisclosed location; I will share updates as progress comes in time. We are learning much patience and humility.

Just as you’ve been here for me (DJ) 5 years ago, please be supportive of Rachelle this time around, if/when you can. We don’t have any urgent needs at the moment.

Comments are welcomed, and I can read to her when she is ready to receive. No deliveries or gift cards or visitors at this time; happy to receive those later – will signal you when it’d be okay if you want to express love and care that way.

Thanks for praying and support. \dj/

p.s. for those of you on Facebook, join the Facebook group, Praying with DJ & Rachelle, to get more frequent updates.

In Conclusion of Prayer Blogging

This marks the end of this 30-week plus kind of an experiment. It started off with an inspiration and I wasn’t sure if I really did have a profound insight or not. So I started the experiment to see if it would be and could be.

I’m glad that I did finish. When I started, I wanted to pray blog 30 weeks in a row, once a week. I didn’t keep up that pace. But what I did do, eventually, is to type out 30 blog posts. This is number 30.

Continue reading “In Conclusion of Prayer Blogging”