At some point in our lives most of us will be called upon to care for a loved one. If you are called to be a caregiver, here are three surprises I faced that you might discover along the way, too.
- The biggest surprise to me was the disconnect between the world’s view of caregiving and God’s view. From the world’s view, many people, even healthcare professionals, told me that I didn’t need to visit Mama in the nursing home every day. They even said, “Nobody does that.” But they do. So, you keep on visiting your loved one. Visit every day and pop in at different times other than your usual time. If the staff knows you’re coming, your loved one will look well cared for. But if you visit at random times, you’ll get the real story. When you find your loved one in a mess or in an uncomfortable position, be sure to call in the Charge Nurse and CNAs to see how you found them. Tell them you expect better care and hold them accountable. Of course, if they are doing a great job in caring for your loved one, be sure to thank them for that, too.
- I think you might be surprised to know that the mandate to care for our aging parents came from God. He expects us to take care our aging parents and our grandparents as well, because they took care of us at the beginning of our lives when we couldn’t take care of ourselves. (1 Timothy 5:4)
- But for me personally, it might surprise you to know that caregiving provided me with a season of tremendous Spiritual growth as I followed God’s lead, doing what He led me to do and setting myself aside for the benefit of my mother. If you lean on God and His wisdom during this difficult time in your life as a caregiver, you will grow in your relationship with God, too.
Because we live in a fallen world and must meet head-on the trouble Jesus promised we would have, remember: Jesus is the Way. He’s the Only One Who can lead us through that maze of eldercare with grace. He showed me how to set myself aside for the benefit of my mother, to put her needs before my own, and how to smooth the path before us, and lead Mama safely through the maze of eldercare. He’ll do the same for you if you ask.
For other surprises that may await you on the road to glory, be sure to read The Road to Glory: Walking Mama Home available on Amazon.