Saturday, July 23, 2011

Caring For Our Elderly

Caring for the elderly members in our families and indeed in our community is so important!  It not only helps the person we are caring for to feel loved, respected and valued, but it also helps us develop life skills and a servants heart.  I once knew of two girls who were asked by their grandmother to fetch in fuel for the fire.  The mother of the two girls corrected the grandmother before the children, saying "How could they bring in such things for you, they are only children!".  So the children were free to continue playing, having been taught by their own mother that elderly family members are not to be given our help, respect or care.  I don't know about you, but I sure would not like to be the mother of those girls, when I myself were elderly!  What a terrible thing to think of; someone passing their old age away in a nursing home for want of caring older children and grandchildren, to help with a few chores and to offer companionship.

Brian's mother is now living on her own since the passing of Brian's father some three years ago.  Shortly after that my mother-in-law put out her hip twice and contracted a nasty virus, all of which caused her to be hospitalized for some time.  After she came home the family discussed the possibility of having someone from each family staying one night per week with her, so that she wouldn't be alone in the night times, should she require any help and to be around early morning to assist with some chores.  It was agreed upon, although not all family members thought this was a good idea and some even refused to help.  The reasoning being that they either didn't have time or they thought it would be too much a a burden.  What a wonderful burden to have!  We feel blessed to still have my mother-in-law here on earth with us.   Our family relish the chance to help out the wonder woman, who bore 11 children, hand washed laundry, cooked, cleaned, milked cows and helped her husband run the family farm!   

We have been taking part in this arrangement for approximately two years now.  Brian stays one night per week and Amy also stays another night by herself.  Although we were a little nervous at first of having Amy stay there by herself, we concluded that it would provide Amy with vital skills and wonderful memories to treasure!  Amy loves to stay at grannies and she has learned so many things, one of the most important of which, is how to love and respect our elders, and the showing of such, through the care we can happily give.

Some Of The Tasks Amy Does For Granny:

  • Helps to put on her socks and shoes on.
  • Assists her to walk around the yard in the morning.
  • Weighs and records her weight (to measure fluids).
  • Makes her cups of tea.
  • Puts her eye drops in (Amy gets totally creeped out by eyeballs too!)
  • Helps with foot care.
  • Fetches things and puts things away.  
Honour widows that are widows indeed.  But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.
~1 Timothy 5:3-4

I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
~ Acts 20:35


    Our Family Is His said...

    This is a hard place to be emotionally. We were blessed to help take care of my father-in-law his last year of life (my Mother-in-law was his full time caregiver). It was hard on us as a family. It was hard on my husband to watch his father die (nothing like changing your father's diaper while he's bedridden to humble you nearly instantly). It was hard on the family to see what people were willing and unwiling to do for their loved one.

    I was one of two primary caregivers for my grandmother her last 1 1/2 years of life as she lived wtih Alzheimer's and then a broken hip. It's such a blessing. I remember things from that time that will last my entire life. (both good and bad) Those times taught us lessons we could never have learned any other way. It showed our strengths and weaknesses. It helped us learn so much about God and our relationships with Him. It was a blessing to take care of them. They gave us so much when we were younger, how could we not give back when they needed us?

    Chelle said...

    I think its wonderful you are helping. When I was 15 I began working in a retirement home. It was sad to see how the elderly were treated by their family. Some family cared about some of them. I remmeber one lady was so grouchy about everything. I worked in the kitchen cooking their meals. She always ate in her apartment. I began taking her her food. One day she came to the dining room to eat. I began helping her carry her tray, filling her drink again. She became very specail to me. She also became less grouchy. Just showing love can change their lives. I also stayed with people so they could come home from the hospital too. It was much fun. I will never forget it. My Mom is a nurse and she sees stuff everyday that would make you cry. I hope I am always able to care for mine and my husbands family instead of sending them away. We already decided niether will go to a nursing home. Keep up the good work. Your doing the right thing. You will be rewarded one day.

    Jessi said...

    That's wonderful you are taking care of her, and teaching your kids to. It is sad elderly people are often forgotten about, and ignored.

    Sarah said...

    Our Family Is His ~ "They gave us so much when we were younger, how could we not give back when they needed us?" ...We think this way also!

    Chelle ~ I loved reading about your experience with the elderly lady you were caring for. What a blessing you must have been to her. It takes so little to show someone that they are special to us and can make a HUGE difference to their lives!

    Jessi ~ Its the society we have created, one in which human life has little value, including that of the elderly. We live in a world that wants to shut our elderly people away, until we can "dispose" of them through legalised euthanasia. It is heartbreaking.