As we study God's word and attempt to increasingly reflect Jesus, we Christians develop a caregiver's heart and often find ourselves in that position.
Such verses as these from Matthew and 1 Peter serve to soften hearts and prepare minds.
"So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12 (ESV)
"Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind." 1Peter 3:8 (ESV)
You may have transitioned into the role of caregiver without realizing it. Your spouse or parent or child became ill and you took care of them. Their illness became a lingering condition. You may have volunteered to help a close friend or a person with no one to turn to.
- A caregiver is a part of the health care team dedicated to the best care and comfort of the patient.
- The job may be as extensive as helping to feed, bathe, and clothe the patient.
- You may be there to make sure that the patient eats and gets enough rest.
- You may need to track medication and make sure it is taken on time and in the correct dosage. You may need to notify the physician if there is a reaction to medication.
- You may keep track of doctor appointments.
- You may drive the patient to the appointment.
- It may be necessary that you talk to the physician during the appointment.
- You may have to handle insurance matters.
- While focusing on all of the above, there are needs of other family members you may be required to attend to.
- Make sure the patient is doing as much as they are physically able to do for themselves and not leaning on you for everything. This keeps the patient active and saves you from stress and fatigue.
- When friends or family members ask "How can we help?" give them a job to do. Keep a list of tasks that someone else could do. Have the list ready when asked. Check off jobs and errands, place their name beside the job to keep track and to make sure it gets done.
Pray for God to send helping hands. Pray that they will be loving, capable and eager to serve.
- Believe that miracles still happen but know that whatever the outcome, God is in control.
- Just as when a stone is thrown into a pool, the ripples extend outward, there will be far-reaching and long-lasting results of your prayers and your work.
- You will grow and become stronger from the experience of serving.
- You will grow closer to God in the process.
- The patient may turn to God or grow closer to Him from your example.
- Family members may grow closer to God or believe for the first time.
Hope for the Caregiver: Encouraging Words to Strengthen Your Spirit
The 36-Hour Day, fifth edition: The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease,
Related Dementias, and Memory Loss (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book)