Taking care of an elderly loved one or a special needs child/person can be one of the most challenging jobs that there is on this earth, but it can also be one of the most rewarding.
One of the Ten Commandments is to honour one’s parents and caregiving is definitely a way of showing honour to our loved ones, especially elderly parents.
Caregiving is also a means of serving God.
It’s not easy, but worth it
Having said all this about caregiving, it remains a difficult task. And thus caregivers need to take extra special care of themselves first in order to be better caregivers to their loved ones. Otherwise the caregiver will be in great danger of becoming completely burnt out. Caregiver burnout is real. That is because of the all-consuming nature of caregiving. If you give and you give then pretty soon there will be nothing left to give. So to prevent that situation, it is highly recommended that caregivers take sufficient time out for themselves to replenish, regroup and refresh – and don’t feel guilty about doing it. It essential to your well-being – and ultimately, to the well-being of the person that you are taking care of.
I have been taking care of my elderly aunt since June 2017 and I can tell you it has been so challenging for me. There have been times when I thought I was at absolute breaking point, but then the loving embrace of the Father would give me the strength and the courage to go on and walk another mile.
I have felt an array of feelings on this journey: melancholic, angry, sad, happy at times, defeated, tired, grateful and thankful.
One of the things that definitely keeps me going is my faith and the fact that I believe that there is a purpose in all this. I can honestly say that I can feel and see how God has been moulding me through this season of my life. I am not the person I used to be. I am different and I am better. This season is not ever for me yet. I draw strength from the word of God when I feel weak and tired and overwhelmed.
Below is a list of some of the scriptures that has given me the most hope and encouragement.
“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.”
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters ……It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Psalm 121: 1-2
I lift my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.
Galatians 5: 22-23
But the fruit of the Sprit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Recommended resources and gifts for caregivers(Click for more info)
Meditate on these scriptures as often as you can. They have the power to bring you great comfort.
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