A word of encouragement for the Christian caregiver

A word of encouragement for the Christian caregiver

By Sherise Henry

If you are someone who is bridled with the task of caring for a loved one be it your parents, children, spouse, or others there comes a time when you yourself need someone who cares. A word of encouragement goes a long way in the life of someone who has made the selfless attempt to care for someone who needs them. The physical exhaustion, stress, and demands on their patience gives caregivers a high calling when it comes to performing their tasks well.

The staff of Christian Life Resources provides a word to enrich the life of caregivers. Their website www.christianliferesources.com offers words of comfort from the aspect of empathy.  “Sound exhausting? It is! The day-to-day care can be a seemingly endless routine of personal care, medical regimen, worry, and questions. Caregivers themselves invariably deal with a host of emotions: anger, discouragement, resentment, guilt, fear, anxiety and/or sadness. Burnout is common when a person's time and energy are constantly demanded of them. Yet God offers the true comfort and the assurance that such trouble will not overwhelm a caregiver.”

The article focuses on persons who are not paid for their caregiving services and offers advice on how to remember God in your giving by focusing on the spiritual aspects of care giving. Here’s a quote from their website.  “Trust me! This may be painful but it's for the best! God tells us that [w]hen you pass through the fire, you will not be burned. He wants us to remember that though fire burns, it also purifies. The Refiner wants believers to look at the positive aspects that caregiving offers:

  • A closer relationship with God

  • Trust in God

  • A sense that others are watching your faith in action

  • A more mature faith, purified by testing

  • The ability to face and handle negative emotions

  • Healing of previous hurts, especially involving family fallouts

Fighting Fatigue

 If you are a person in your family with caregiving as a spiritual gift God wants you to not grow weary in well doing. Christian Life Resources also offers the following tips to fight Caregiver fatigue:

  • Get into God's Word

  • Just say, No! and ask for help

  • Don't take on more than you can handle

  • Learn to relax: read, listen to music, take a walk or a bath

  • Stay healthy: eat well, get proper rest, exercise (Family caregivers often put their own healthcare needs aside due to the time, financial, or emotional constraints of caregiving and are at high risk for depression, chronic stress, anxiety, head and backaches and stomach/intestinal disorders)

  • Pray (a majority of caregivers say prayer helps in coping with stress)

  • Stay educated on issues: Internet, doctor, health professionals, reading materials)

  • Turn to family, friends, loves ones for support and guidance

  • Join a support group, if you wish

  • Learn basic nursing skills (offered by the American Red Cross or other medical facilities)

  • See a doctor if stress becomes overwhelming

  • Pace yourself

  • Plan for time off from caregiving

  • Set limits

  • Consider respite care or paid professional care to lighten the load

  • Have a basic care plan checklist

  • Know about your loved ones personal records such as medical directives, wills, bank information, doctors records (many insurance companies offer products to fit these needs)

  • Learn about community services available to all parties

  • Laugh more!

With a plan of action for yourself. The load of care giving may be easier to bear.  May your Godly focus guide you in your effort to be of service to others.

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