Helena and I were just spending the weekend on the coast at Seaside Oregon for a 3-day get-away. Everywhere we looked we saw signs and posters about Tsunami warnings. They described sirens, evacuation routes – all telling us what we needed to do and where we were to go – with the emphasis that quick action and response was imperative to save lives. Signs were everywhere on the highway, street corners, in shops and hotel rooms. From our hotel room I looked out the window at the sea thinking is there something coming are we ready?
There is a different type of Tsunami coming – the warning signs are there, and they are too strong to ignore – but many do not see them. It is a Tsunami of Alzheimer’s. Let me share with you a few statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association:
Do you understand these stats? 5.8 million today 14 million by 2050, every 65 seconds someone is diagnosed. Between 2000 and 2017 deaths from heart disease have decreased by 9% (great right?) but deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased by 145%. Pause a moment and think about this. This is a disease that there is currently no cure – and for the most part there is no reversing it. I would be safe to say that it would be hard to meet someone today in the USA who is not touched in some way by this disease.
A Tsunami is coming – are we ready…?
How can we be prepared for this onslaught that has already begun – the earth has shook – the wave has receded and is building to a devastating blow on all of us. It will continue to build and grow ever more… until that cure is found.
It affects us medically, psychologically, socially, financially, … spiritually.
The wave is coming there is no stopping it – we can’t even slow it down – we fight viruses… but never has there been a “virus” of these proportions.
The medical world is working for ways to care for the physical body, centers and communities are opening in huge numbers to care for the affected. But this is only touching the physical and many of these people are being cared for and many seemingly are being locked away and forgotten.
What can we do? What can the Church do? Does Jesus care? There is a side that the medical community is not equipped to deal with – the “imago Dei”. We all have something of God – His “breath”/creation in us – Dementia/Alzheimer’s does not destroy that – cannot destroy that.
It cannot be destroyed. The Word of God declares in Romans 8 that “nothing can separate us from … God”
And yet when those with dementia can no longer relate “normally” in our world they are pushed aside – treated often like those in the New Testament with leprosy – isolated from those they love and supposedly love them.
People (the Church) do not know how to respond to these with dementia. We are so driven by our cognitive and visual success that to be around someone who has seemingly “lost it” – we often think “it’s not a productive use of our time – they are gone and will never miss us.”
Let me tell you nothing is further from the truth…
How is the Church to respond?
How are we as individuals to respond?
There is a need for –
- Attitude and Heart Change
- Us to know what we are called to do
- That this is not something that we can choose to ignore
- Jesus will hold us to account…
The Tsunami is coming, we can see the “wall of disruption and destruction” coming – and in reality, there are no safe zones – everyone, everywhere will be in some way touched by it.
It is the mission of this site to help educate and provide resources for all who are touched by this Tsunami of “dementia”.