Understanding Alzheimer’s and Karma


I am a nurse and lately I have had a few encounters with elderly patients with severe Alzheimers. A part of me is wondering what lies behind that veil of confusion? How are they going to raise their energy higher when they are so mentally incapable? They are totally in different worlds and realities. They eat, sleep,walk aimlessly... I wonder what lessons are they learning with that kind of mental capacity? I learn something from them but what kind of karma gets you to that?

—Mildred, USA


Dear Friend,

Thank you for your question and thank you for this great service. It is much appreciated by your patients and not necessarily acknowledged.

The individual karma and subsequent lessons are very individual. What is a lesson for one patient with Alzheimer’s and the lesson for another is hard to say or compare. Also, there is individual karma and group karma. But, always, the disease is specific to the person and his or her past. Anything that comes to us is never random or accidental. It is wise to understand that whatever comes is something earned and something important we need to learn, whether seemingly beneficial or harmful.

Understanding that everything is perfectly suited for growth of our souls, helps with acceptance and inner peace. What an individual needs, even perhaps losing cognitive abilities, to help them with that growth is unique to each person. There are ways to work with tendencies brought on by karma. One way is to know that karma is meant to bring us back to God. Even if a patient’s ability is compromised with confusion and low brain functioning, their soul is untarnished, perfect, and does know a bigger picture that is playing out.

As caregivers, we could not really comprehend how the karma is being worked out at other levels. No karma is really good or bad. All that comes as our karma is neutral. This is a disease that requires surrender of the patient’s will to others and appears as “giving in” to a lack of energy. The soul, however, with this loss of function, is perhaps able to see the world in a new, different, and still beautiful way. Often there is sadness and fear for the patient. It may be that a certain amount of freedom exists for the soul with this condition and that lapses in mental abilities allow and provide for an important experience for that soul. It is only the mind that is affected and not the soul!

For you, as a caregiver, who have a very important role in the lives of your patients, it would be helpful to have an affirmation that you say for them. A good affirmation for you to use is: As I learn the lessons that life teaches me, I grow toward ever-greater joy and freedom.

Just a last thought: ask God to bless all your interactions with your patients with Light and Love, that you are guided to compassion and understanding for each one. This could help answer many questions and help you to see them protected in God’s hands.

Many Blessings,
Joy to You,
Nayaswami Hassi