As we age we typically become more limited in our physical ability. In addition to not moving as fast as we used to, we also grow slowing in our thinking and processing of information. As we age, we often need a little more help. You may find yourself being the one giving the help. As a spouse or child, you are likely to be called on to be a caregiver. Some people experience life in the sandwich generation, having to care for their children and their parents at the same time. Caregiving can be overwhelming and frustrating. It is important that you care of yourself while you are caring for others. Below are some ideas on self-care as you provide care for your loved ones.
• Prioritize your relationship with God. God can give you the proper perspective that you need as a caregiver. Allow God to care for you as you care for others. He will give you strength and empower you to show grace and mercy (Read Isaiah 40:28-31).
• Accept help from others. Assess and clearly communicate the kind of help you’d find most useful. Ask for help from family members, friends, and outside sources like state agencies, senior centers, and your brothers and sisters in Christ. When people offer to assist you with various tasks or invite you to take a break for a few hours while they sit with your loved one, allow them to minister to you. It can be as simple as someone doing your grocery shopping or preparing dinner for you. Ask God to help you locate the right helpers to come alongside you in the journey.
• Remember that this is a temporary season in your life. Knowing that things won’t always be like this should inspire hope.
• Cherish the moments and take advantage of the opportunities to honor your parents and demonstrate your love for your spouse.
• Don’t neglect your other relationships. Be intentional about your time. Continue to date your spouse. Love on your children. Communicate with your friends.
What things have you found helpful in caregiving? Write a note and share it with someone who is a caregiver.
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