Can you imagine taking care of an adult 24 hours a day? Maybe it’s an elderly parent who can’t live alone anymore or a spouse whose health problems are debilitating. The job would be daunting, to say the least.
Some adults need help doing the most basic things, like using the bathroom or getting dressed. Just taking a shower is tricky and dangerous for many. A slick bathroom floor combined with an adult who is weak and unstable can create a catastrophic injury that would require months of recovery. Caring for someone with dementia is especially difficult. One has to be on guard constantly for fear the loved one will wander out of the house and get lost, not to mention some dementia suffers become physically and verbally violent. Being responsible for the care of a loved one who has serious challenges is exhausting.
Millions of adults find themselves in the role of caregivers at some point in their lives and it is more than challenging. Caregivers can find themselves physically drained, mentally exhausted, emotionally burned out and spiritually worn down. It is a responsibility taken on in love but it is such an awesome task that even the most caring can become bone-weary which can lead to feelings of guilt.
If you are a caregiver, thank you! Your work is underappreciated but so, so vital! You give of yourself constantly with little reward. If not for your efforts, the life of your loved one would be much more difficult; kudos to you!
If you know a caregiver, do something nice for them. A little appreciation can go a long way. Just recognizing their efforts can be an encouragement. Maybe you could give them a break. Just an hour or two to get their hair done or have some down time can make a huge difference. They are certainly deserving.
Christians are called to “bear one another’s burdens.” We have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters to help them when they need it. This is certainly true for those who have the responsibility of caring for someone else who is in need.
Lift a caregiver’s burden this week. Someday you might be in the same position!
Rob Morton is minister of First Christian Church Middlesboro. Contact him at [email protected]