7800 West County Road 42
Apple Valley, Minnesota

Parish Nurse Article, November 2017

In Body and Spirit…
A message from the Parish Nurses

The month of November brings many events we observe as God’s people, starting with All Saint’s Day. We also observe Thanksgiving as we begin preparations for the birth of the Christ Child. Another event we recognize in November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness month.

Alzheimer’s Disease causes progressive deterioration of the mind and affects several million persons in our country. This disease attacks the brain and causes a large number of nerve cells in the brain to die, and results in ongoing memory loss, as well as problems with thinking and behaviors. There is no cure for this disease but having a structured setting in community and church support can certainly ease the family’s responsibilities.

Family members often are also seriously affected by Alzheimer’s Disease. Most families struggle with concerns related to changes in family relationships, have trouble doing everyday things like driving a car, helping with cooking, or paying bills. Family members may also deal with the loss of the parent as they have always known. Ongoing intentional support from the faith community can help lighten some of these burdens. In Galatians 6:2, we read, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

The Bible also offers us guidance in many difficult circumstances  First, in Genesis 1:26-27, we read,  “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness,… So God created man in his own image….” God doesn’t cause illness and/or infirmity, rather they are the consequences of a fallen world. God alone has the ability to make something good out of disease, impairments, and suffering, as we read in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.” The Lord has provided help in health care providers, medications and treatments, family, and the faith community. And in Psalms 46, we read, “God is our refuge and strength an ever-present help in trouble.

Each day brings new challenges. You may find yourself dealing with problem behaviors or just trying to get through the day. Changes may occur very slowly over a period of time. See your health care provider if you have concerns about a loved one with memory problems. If you are the caregiver, do things that you enjoy, eat healthy, get adequate rest and exercise, and take good care of yourself!

If you would like to contact the Parish Nurse, please call the church office, or email parish.nurse@graceofav.org.

Peace and good health to you all!

Lois Askvig and Amy Fleser
Grace Lutheran Parish Nurses

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