Finding Grace in the Face of Dementia

By John Dunlop, MD

Finding Grace in the Face of Dementia

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Finding Grace in the Face of Dementia

By John Dunlop, MD

There Is Hope . . .

When a patient is diagnosed with dementia, it impacts not only the patient but also those who care for them. It can be devastating to watch loved ones lose the independence, personality, and abilities that once defined them, knowing there is no cure. How should Christians respond to a diagnosis of dementia?

Experienced geriatrician Dr. John Dunlop wants to transform the way we view dementia—showing us how God can be honored through such a tragedy as we respect the inherent dignity of all humans made in the image of God. Sharing stories from decades of experience with dementia patients, Dunlop provides readers, particularly caregivers, with a biblical lens through which to understand the experience and challenge of this life-altering disease. Finding Grace in the Face of Dementia will help you see God's purposes as you love and care for those with dementia.


Author:

John Dunlop (MD, Johns Hopkins University) serves as an adjunct professor at Trinity International University and practices geriatrics in New Haven, Connecticut, where he is affiliated with Yale School of Medicine. Dunlop is the author of Finishing Well to the Glory of God: Strategies from a Christian Physician and Wellness for the Glory of God: Living Well After 40 with Joy and Contentment in All of Life.


Endorsements:

“This book offers needed help and hope for those who have a loved one experiencing dementia. John Dunlop’s training as a medical doctor, along with his understanding of what the Bible teaches us about our bodies and our souls, gives him a unique perspective from which to address this crucial issue.”
Dennis Rainey, President and CEO, FamilyLife; Host, FamilyLife Today; author, Stepping Up

“Finding this book is like discovering a wonderful treasure. John Dunlop has mined decades of experience as geriatrician, son of a mother with dementia, bioethics expert, and active church member to help the rest of us make sense of a condition that seems to rob people of every shred of dignity. Drawing on the glorious biblical truth of every person’s creation in the image of God, Dunlop shows that dignity cannot be lost even in the face of dementia. People entering or anticipating the experience of dementia, as well as their family, friends, and caregivers—in other words, nearly everyone—will find in this book the grace they need to cope with its challenges.”
John F. Kilner, Professor of Bioethics and Contemporary Culture, Forman Endowed Chair of Ethics and Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Director of Bioethics Programs, Trinity International University

“Almost thirty years ago, my mother died of complications springing from nine years of Alzheimer’s Disease. During those nine years I read several helpful books that described the stages of the disease, what to expect, and how to respond. Nowadays similar resources are found on the web. But there is nothing quite like John Dunlop’s book on dementia. Decades of experience as a geriatrician and a devout Christian combine to help other believers think through dementia—what it means, how to trust God when you see its onset (in you or in friends and relatives), and, yes, how God glorifies himself and brings strength to his people precisely in the midst of such horrendous, ravaging illness. This book will help you become a better caregiver; more importantly, it will help you become a more mature and thoughtful Christian. It may even help you become a better patient.”
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Cofounder, The Gospel Coalition

“My father-in-law resided with us through his eight-year journey with Alzheimer’s. As a physician, I had taken care of patients with dementia, but then I lived with the disease. The best way to help a friend or family member dealing with this illness is to give them a copy of this book. It is an invaluable resource.”
David Stevens, CEO, Christian Medical and Dental Associations

"Finding Grace in the Face of Dementia is a remarkably helpful book on the increasingly common phenomenon of dementia. Growing out of his medical practice as a geriatric physician and his experience as a caregiver for his parents, both of whom suffered from dementia, John Dunlop writes for those who struggle with this disease themselves, for caregivers, and for members of the body of Christ eager to lean in and love well in these difficult circumstances. This book ably and understandably covers the waterfront medically, theologically, practically, and experientially. Combining compassionate kindness, sober realism, appropriate anguish and lament, and ultimate confidence in God's love and grace, Dunlop both encourages and fortifies those who suffer and those who give care. This book rings true to my own experience with my mother, who suffered from dementia for twenty years. May this much-needed resource be used widely and mightily in the days ahead."
Steven C. Roy, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“Dementia may well be the most feared diagnosis in the Western world, and this book is a timely contribution to a community in need of education and encouragement. Dunlop does not gloss over the challenges that dementia can bring but takes us by the hand and leads us sympathetically through the various aspects of the illness. Dunlop’s extensive experience allows him to contribute rich practical and spiritual wisdom for those walking this path. I highly recommend it as a guide.”
Megan Best, palliative care practitioner; bioethicist


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Table of Contents:

Introduction

  1. God and Dementia
  2. What Should We Know about Dementia?
  3. What about Diagnosis?
  4. Can Dementia Be Prevented or Treated?
  5. How Does It Feel to Have Dementia?
  6. The Experience of Caregiving
  7. Help for Caregivers
  8. How Can We Honor God through Dementia?
  9. Respect the Dignity of Those with Dementia
  10. Meet the Needs of Those with Dementia
  11. What Should the Church Do?
  12. Grow through the Experience of Dementia
  13. End-of-Life Issues

Acknowledgments
Appendix: A Letter to My Family
Notes
Suggested Reading
General Index
Scripture Index


Specifications:

Category: Culture & Social Issues
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 208
ISBN-10: 1-4335-5209-4
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-5209-0
Size: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Weight: 8.95 ounces
Published: July 31, 2017