Friends and Caregivers Archives 2011

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  • Hope poem by Doris Davis with comment by daughter, Janelle Hastings
  • 10 Signs of Alzheimer's by Alzheimer's Association
  • There will be a change
  • Aging is All of Us
  • The Responsibility Grandchildren Have for their Widowed Grandmothers
  • The Care of the Elderly by David Padfield
  • Younger Wives as Caregivers by Pat Gates
  • Honoring Parents in Their Old Age...What It Looks Like by Rick Liggin
  • Blessed in Aging - poem
  • Patience Needed in Caregiving (response to email) by Pat Gates
  • A Little Chat With God - #6 (personal plea) by Ruth Miller

                     HOPE
Release the chains that bind me
To things that still surround me
The memories that tie me
To days that now have gone.
Return my eyes to heaven
Where stars still seem to beckon
Beyond the wide horizon
To brighter days tomorrow.
                                       - Doris Davis

Had she lived, Doris Davis would have been 96.
She died in Lakeland, Florida.  A better preacher's
wife, elder's wife, or Bible student would be difficult
to find.  Striken with Alzheimers, she spent her last
days battling one of the hardest diseases I think
exists.  She maintained her dignity and beautiful
godly disposition. We never heard an ugly word, or
God's name used in vain, come from her lips. 
                                           -  Doris Janelle Davis Hastings

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alzheimer's association

KNOW THE 10 SIGNS

early detection matters

Have you noticed any of these warning signs?

Please list any concerns you have and take this sheet with you to the doctor.

Note: This list is for information only and not a substitute for a consultation with a qualified professional.

____1. Memory changes that disrupt daily life. One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s, especially in the early stages, is forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; relying on memory aides (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own. What's typical? Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.

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____2. Challenges in planning or solving problems. Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before. What's typical? Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.

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____3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure. People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes, people may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game. What’s typical? Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television show.

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____4. Confusion with time or place. People with Alzheimer's can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there. What's typical? Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.

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____5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer's. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast. In terms of perception, they may pass a mirror and think someone else is in the room. They may not recognize their own reflection. What's typical? Vision changes related to cataracts.

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____6. New problems with words in speaking or writing. People with Alzheimer's may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word or call things by the wrong name (e.g., calling a "watch" a "hand-clock"). What's typical? Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.

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____7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more frequently over time. What's typical? Misplacing things from time to time, such as a pair of glasses or the remote control.

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____8. Decreased or poor judgment. People with Alzheimer's may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean. What's typical? Making a bad decision once in a while.

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____9. Withdrawal from work or social activities. A person with Alzheimer's may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced. What's typical? Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations.

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____10. Changes in mood and personality. The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer's can change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone. What's typical? Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.

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If you have questions about any of these warning signs, the Alzheimer’s Association recommends consulting a physician. Early diagnosis provides the best opportunities for treatment, support and future planning.

For more information, go to www.alz.org/10signs or call 877-IS IT ALZ (877.474.8259).

This is an official publication of the Alzheimer’s Association but may be distributed by unaffiliated organizations or individuals. Such distribution does not constitute an endorsement of these parties or their activities by the Alzheimer’s Association.

Copyright 2009 Alzheimer’s Association. All rights reserved.

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“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” ~ Louis L’Amour

Everything connected with your loved one’s care is going along smoothly, your care recipient’s needs are all met and your caregiving “work” is finished. Then your loved one declines further via the aging process or perhaps a health crisis. A new stage begins and a new start on your caregiving journey. The best thing to do as a caregiver is to be prepared for change, because it is coming! What is the next possible step you may have to take as a family caregiver? Have you thought about it, researched options, talked about it with your family or eldercare consult.  www.tenderlovingeldercare.com


 

 "The aging aren't only the old; the aging are all of us."

How do you wish to be treated as you are aging? Do you think your parents hope for the same?

Do you think you will be in a nursing home one day? What would you like from others? Is there anyone you know in a nursing home now? What would they like?


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 THE RESPONSIBILITY GRANDCHILDREN HAVE FOR THEIR WIDOWED GRANDMOTHERS

Honor widows who are really widows. But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God. 1 Timothy 5:3-4

Did you ever notice grandchildren were commanded to repay their widowed grandmothers and show them piety (respect)?

Are we teaching our children to be responsible for their grandmother?

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The Care Of The Elderly

by David Padfield

The Ten Commandments were given by God at Mt. Sinai to govern His people (Exodus 20:1-17). These commandments are divided into two sections. The first four commandments deal with one's relationship to God, while the last six deal with one's relationship to his fellow man.

In Exodus 20:12 we read, "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you." R. L. Whiteside made the following comments on this verse: "This is the first commandment with promise. The parent that is worthy the name seeks to preserve the health of his child and to keep him out of unnecessary dangers and exposures. The thoughtful child knows that the parent knows best what is good for him. One thing greatly lacking these days is a proper reverence for parents. Parents are greatly to blame, because they do not train their children to respect their will and wishes. Obedience to authority must be learned, and if that is not learned in the home, the child has a rocky road before him. If a child is not taught to respect the authority of parents, he is not likely to respect any other authority. Such a child is a criminal in the making. This commandment is plainly and pointedly set forth in the New Testament (Eph. 6:1,2)." (Bible Studies, Vol. 1, p. 204).

Most people think of "honoring father and mother" only in terms of a young child or teenager being obedient to their parents. This is only part of the issue. In the New Testament, our Lord applied Exodus 20:12 to those who sought to escape the burden of caring for their aging parents (Mark 7:10-13). Apparently, children (some of whom were no doubt parents themselves) exempted themselves from their obligation to "honor" their parents by declaring their money was "dedicated to the temple." They did not actually give the money to the temple, but they intended to do so. They then claimed they did not have the ability to financially care for their own parents. I have seen individuals pull the same scam in our day. Since the command to honor one's parents is repeated in the New Testament (Ephesians 6:1,2), wouldn't those who seek to be relieved of this duty be just as guilty of sin as those to whom Jesus spoke?

Greek law said children were morally and legally bound to support their parents. Philo, a contemporary of our Lord, said, "When old storks become unable to fly, they remain in their nests and are fed by their children, who go to endless exertions to provide their food because of their piety."

"As Aristotle saw it, a man must himself starve before he would see his parents starve. Plato in The Laws has the same conviction of the debt that is owed to parents: 'Next comes the honor of loving parents, to whom, as is meet, we have to pay the first and greatest and oldest of debts, considering that all which a man has belongs to those who gave him birth and brought him up, and that he must do all that he can to minister to them; first, in his property; secondly, in his person; and thirdly, in his soul; paying the debts due to them for their care and travail which they bestowed upon him of old in the days of his infancy, and which he is now able to pay back to them, when they are old and in the extremity of their need.'" (William Barclay, The Letters To Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, p. 107).

In 1 Timothy 5:3,4 we are commanded to "Honor widows who are really widows. But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God." The word "repay" is translated as "requite" in the King James Version. Edgar Goodspeed translated this verse as, "to return the care of those who brought them up."

We live in a time when sacred duties are often turned over to the state. Some Christians expect public charity to do what private piety ought to do. I have met children who expected the church to support their parents even though they were capable of doing so themselves. Some churches are excusing those who so sin and actually become a party to their sin by accepting the obligation in their stead. The New Testament still says, "If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows" (1 Timothy 5:16). The church is not to be charged with the care of aged saints when children are still alive and capable of attending to their needs.

I know of Christians who purchased nice houses and automobiles, and then expected the church to care for their parents. Such individuals should not be coddled, but withdrawn from if they refuse to honor their moral and spiritual obligations to their parents.

You can just hear some of these ingrates crying, "But it would be too crowded for them to stay at our house!" That might be true. Your parents' house was probably crowded when you were young too. Others claim it would be too expensive to care for their parents. Your parents no doubt made sacrifices for you when you were in need many years ago. Others bemoan the fact that they would not have any privacy if their parents came to stay. Well, you can ask your own parents about that one.

"Repaying your parents" might mean you living in a crowded house, driving an older model car and wearing faded clothes. Christians in the first century "sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need" (Acts 2:45). If they could do this for those whom they barely knew, shouldn't children be willing to do the same for their own parents? Children who neglect this obligation are worse than unbelievers (1 Timothy 5:8).

Taking care of an aged parent is simply repaying the love they gave us in our time of need with love in their time of need.

http://www.padfield.com

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Young Wives As Caregivers

FROM THE MAIL: Does anyone have advice for a wife living with a husband who is living with chronic pain (due to back surgeries and bulging disks, etc)?  The more years this goes on, the more it weighs me down. I used to be so positive and stress free...now, with 3 young children in tow, I find myself constantly torn between empathy and frustration.  Do I just have to accept it as is, or keep striving for answers to his pain?  How do other wives handle this type of thing?
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Response from Pat: Thank you for writing and sharing your thoughts and feelings. I didn't receive any answers for you, through the mail, but I do have a couple of things to say to try and encourage you. First of all, the conflicting feelings you are experiencing are normal and, most likely, will continue to be a part of your life. However, the frustration will lessen and become more managable over time as you learn emotional and physcial ways of coping. I know you are a faithful Christian woman who wants to joyfully fulfill your role as wife and mother, and even when the burdens of life seem so great, the joy can abound in that you know you are serving the Lord when you serve your family. I hope to write more about this next month.
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Your email brought up two topics I'd like to discuss: Young wives, as caregivers, and how to handle those frustrating times that do come with caregiving. This month I addressed younger women as caregivers for their spouse. Not everything I write about will apply to you and your situation as I'll try and address different personalities and experiences. I would love any input from you or any of you who are reading this.
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As far as accepting your husband's life with chronic pain, the anwer to your question is "yes." Yes, accept the situation. Acceptance will help eliminate frustration and it can bring about a more contented spirit. It sets your mind into the mode of how to live with the situation, rather than how to get out of it. Rather than looking at that as a "give-up, give-in" conclusion, look at it as - this is our life now and I will learn the best way to live with it. This helps bring peace and contentment, as well as adjustment.
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The answer is also, "yes," to keep looking for answers, but within reason.  My son deals with ongoing back pain and while there is no answer for his pain other than medication and massage, we both may do a search now and then on the internet to see if anything new has been discovered to lessen his pain.
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My dear sister, I do feel for you and I know you and your husband have a burden greater than any of us know. I appreciate your desire to have the right attitude and to handle life in the best way possible. I hope this month's caregiver page will encourage you in some way.

 
Before I begin the article....

Interesting response I received in regards to the above request: A friend suggested I get in touch with a Christian whose husband has the same condition. She was described as, "Doing a fine job, even as they raise a young family, upbeat and so wants to be of help in His kingdom." What my friend didn't realize was that the one she recommended to help, is the very same woman who asked for help. And this makes several good points about caregivers:
  • Stress affects everyone, even the strong in spirit.
  • Be kind and caring and helpful for the inner battles of those undergoing trials are more difficult than is shown outwardly.
  • We need to allow our brothers and sisters, in Christ, to admit their feelings without misjudgment that they are spiritually weak. Even the pillars of the congregation experience sadness and frustration at times and confessing this shows humbleness and strength, rather than weakness.
  • The feelings expressed are normal for caregivers. It doesn't matter if you are caring for a spouse, parent, or a child, there will be times of sadness and frustration, among other negative thoughts and emotions. These feelings are a result of the combination of the weight of responsibility to take care of the family and the concern for the loved one who has the health problems.

Younger Wives, As Caregivers
Pat Gates

I'm frustrated. I've been searching online for help for younger women as caregivers as well as help for younger men who are ill or injured. It's almost impossible to find. I can find much information for husbands who are caregivers. I can find help for older wives who are caregiving for husbands with Alzheimers or other infirmities. But when it comes to younger wives caring for husbands with health issues the only info I can find is wives of men in the military whose husbands were injured and/or have PTSD (good info, but not what I'm needing right now). The only other help that keeps popping up is the problem with intimate issues between husband and wife. While that is an issue, there is so much more younger men and their wives have to deal with when their lives have been turned upside down by disabilities and disease.
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I'm going to try and tackle this subject myself. I'm going to offer suggestions for younger wives who are caregivers. My advice comes from a few comments I did find on the internet from younger women as well as some personal experience I've had watching my son grow up with heart disease. Some of my advice is also going to come from my own experience dealing with chronic illness and observing my husband as a caregiver, and my experience in having been a caregiver both for my father and mother. I really would like to hear from wives who are or have been caregivers because men, overall, sometimes have different needs and desires that should to be addressed.
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Advice for younger women who are caring for a husband with health issues:
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Do what you can to preserve your husband-and-wife relationship -- that needs to be a top priority.
  • Read 1 Corinthians 13 on a regular basis and incorporate the acts of love in your every day life with your husband.
  • Look at and treat your husband with respect and be in subjection to him. Discuss financial decisions with him, even if you are the sole wage earner. Also be sure and discuss decisions in regards to the children and other household responsibilities. Listen to your husband's advice and allow his decision to stand. The exception to this would be if he has given you permission to make the decisions without him (due to the added stress it may cause on him), or if he can not reason properly due to an illness that may cause cognitive problems.
  • While you should discuss problems with your husband and seek his advice, do so with wisdom and according to what he can handle physically. With some illnesses or disabilities, added stress may create further problems, so some smaller issues may be best to handle yourself. Do according to what our husband can handle and what he desires.
  • While time and energy are precious and always lacking, try your best to create some alone time with your husband. Try to take some time daily, even if it is a few minutes, to show your husband he is number 1 in your life. Tell your kids it is "mommy-daddy" time and they are to play quietly for a while.
  • Keep romance in your life as much as possible. The husband-wife relationship needs to be kept in tack. While fatigue is going to have an impact as well as the health of your husband, do what you can with what abilities you both have. Throughout the day, hand-holding, kissing, affectionate words are very important. Little love notes hidden in places your husband will find are a nice touch.
  • Allow your husband to continue to be the spiritual leader of the family. It would be ideal for him to lead a bible study with his family on a daily basis. You can't make him do this but you can explain you and your children need his spiritual guidance. If he can physically handle this and agrees to it, be sure and take the time to do so and plan the children's and your own activities around this. It's important to the entire family.

If you husband enjoys a home bible study and he can't get out, be sure to allow your home to be used for this purpose. Yes, there is a good chance with all your responsibility the house will be messy, but don't let that stop you from opening up your home. Others will understand and if they don't, then don't let that worry you, your main concern is your husband's happiness and spiritual needs.

Focus on keeping your husband involved, functioning, and independent by not doing things for him that he can do for himself. Don't be overprotective as he needs to feel useful.
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Men see their worth tied to their career, earning potential, and their ability to take care of their family. When their physical functioning lessens, they may feel less masculine and try to ignore their symptoms. They may continue to keep working and/or doing chores that may add to their fatigue or may even damage their body further. If your husband is about to take on a task that may harm him instead of saying, "No you can't do that!" try saying, "I know you want to do that and enjoy it but please be careful, I really need you and I hate to see you in pain." Instead of treating him like a child, if you give him credit for his physical ability and strength, he will still feel like a man and know he is still useful to his family.
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Ask your husband if he'll do certain tasks within his ability. He needs to feel useful.
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Go to him for strength and comfort. Go to him for spiritual strength.
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Communication. This is a biggie. Most men don't communicate like a woman wants them to. There is good reason for that; they actually have physical differences in their brain which may contribute as well as how men are raised either by parents or by society. The physical part of man makes him think more logical, without so many emotional thoughts interfering. However, men do get depressed but most of the time they won't admit this, even to themselves. So how does a wife handle this lack of communication in men?

First of all, remember that most men do not think like a woman. I'm not saying that men do not get emotional or that emotions don't play a part in their living with chronic health problems, but rather their thought process is different than a woman's and you need to keep this in mind so you don't overburden your own emotions. Remember, men usually are thinking more logical and they are trying to figure out how to fix a problem or situation.

If your husband doesn't communicate his feelings, go ahead and ask him what he is thinking and feeling, but if he doesn't respond or if he says he doesn't want to talk about it, then as difficult as it is, let it go. Let him know you are willing to listen anytime and you are there for him.

Keep in mind many men feel it is a weakness to admit they are overly stressed or depressed and they may be in denial of needing help. This is when I wish men would communicate to other men and let them know it's ok to recognize that trials do stress the spirit and it is normal to feel sad and stressed. I wish men, especially brothers in Christ, would ask men with health problems if they'd like to talk, or better yet, take them out for coffee and, with wisdom, try and find out their emotional state in order to encourage them (not condemn them). If you know a brother you can trust to do this, perhaps a suggestion to him that your husband would really enjoy going out and having some conversation. I would refrain from any explanation as, again, you may inject what you believe your husband is thinking and feeling when it may be quite the opposite.


A word about antidepressants: 

Christians need to let other Christians know that antidepressants are helpful and not sinful to take. I know righteous, trusting, faithful Christians, men and women, who have taken and are taking antidepressants. Antidepressants are not the same as tranquilizers and when dealing with overt pain and stress, they are not an excuse to quit life and quit trying. They don't work like that. What they do is to help the physical symptoms of stress on the body. Some people may have bad side effects and can't take them, just like any medicine, but for those who can, all the medication does is to take the edge off of stress and a person can think more clearly and be more organized as well as it taking the edge off of depression. It is the same as taking an antacid. An antacid helps alleviate the symptoms of heartburn that may come from stress and it allows the body to digest food without pain. An antacid is not a sin to take, neither is an antidepressant. For those of you who do take an antidepressant, as I do, you understand it's not mind altering and tranquilizing, but rather it helps to be more clear headed. Stress is not a sin, unless it comes from sinful acting or thinking and the sin needs to be removed from your life. Stress is a physical reaction to the trials in this life. I imagine the apostle Paul understood stress quite well and at the same time kept his faith intact.

With bringing Paul in the conversation, if you immediately thought Paul would never take an antidepressant, then you don't understand the medication. With the amount of stress Paul went through I'm sure if antacids had been invented, or ibuprofen, or other medications to help alleviate the symptoms of stress Paul probably would have taken them. After all, he did tell Timothy to "use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities." Yea, but, wine was suppose to be used for physical symptoms, not mental. Antidepressants are also used for physical symptoms. They are in the same category as the other medications mentioned - they do not alter the thinking process or the will, nor are they, in any way, an escape from handling the problems of life. And trials and problems, outside our control, bring stress. We are in denial if we think otherwise. See 2 Corinthians 2:4, 12-13; 2 Corinthians 6:4-10; Philippians 2:27.


   

Ask your husband if he would be interested in going to a support group  with people who have the same illness or disability in order to find out if there is any new treatment or advice they may have in dealing with the pain and other symptoms. Keep it physical, don't suggest he go to a support group to help with depression. This is a turn off to most men and it makes them look weak. If it is a good support group, they will have the latest news about treatment as well as offering good suggestion on living daily with the illness or disability. If your husband agrees to this, ask him if he wants to go alone or if he would prefer you go with him, if you are able. If he says alone don't get insulted. He may need to discuss personal issues where he doesn't have to worry so much about how strong or how weak he looks in front of you. On the other hand, some men may feel more confident with their wife by their side and prefer their presence. However, do not press him to go, just ask if he would like to. If he says no or doesn't respond, don't ask again. He knows he has that option.

If your husband always tells your family, your friends, and the local congregation that he is "fine" and no one really knows the truth, there may come a time when you have to talk to them privately about your husband's health. They may expect him or ask him to do chores that are outside his capability and your husband may push himself too hard to fulfill those needs, even if it harms him to do so. Whether or not you should mention it privately without your husband's permission depends on the personality of your husband. Remember, most likely your husband will find out you talked to others about his abilities, or lack thereof, and you need to decide whether he will be grateful or angry. Some may be embarrassed, but secretly grateful they will not have to explain as they know they shouldn't be doing the chores expected of them. On the other hand, some husbands may be angry and hold it against you which will create or add to marital problems. In this case, it's best to ask the husband's permission to explain or just leave the explanation up to him.

Don't talk about your husband’s illness around his co-workers, especially if it’s an invisible illness.

Don't take burst of anger or up and down emotions personally. Some men's frustration may come out in inpatience because they can't fix what's wrong with them or they may withdraw more into themselves due to depression. Try your best to understand your husband is not upset with you but rather his circumstance. Be patient, understanding, and try to remain cheerful (however sensitive to his grief). 
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Emotional numbness in your husband may develop as a result of trying to keep stress and depression at bay. Again, don't take this personal, it's not about you, it's a way of survival.
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What do you do when you begin to be troubled with the thought, "What about me?" I've been on both sides of the coin. My husband has been my caregiver and I've been a caregiver for my father, mother, and son. Caregiving can be a verydifficult task. There can be extreme physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual fatigue. It is a life of responsibiltiy and giving. It is an emotional rollercoaster of ups (the joy of being able to take care of the one you love and appreciate good times, no matter how small) and downs (overt fatigue, concern for your loved one's physical and emotional state, losing social contact etc).

Try and take some time now and then for yourself. Yes, I know what it's like to read that and say, "Time! What time! There is no time." I've been there and when I would read that suggestion for caregivers I'd get frustrated and think whoever writes this stuff just doesn't understand. Well, I do and that's why I put "try" and make time for yourself. It is important for your emotional state and it will not only help you but your loved one as well.

Ask for help with children or to sit with your husband if he requires constant care (someone your husband feels comfortable with). I have been in situations where there was no one to turn to because I didn't know anyone or I had asked for help and received none. I realize it's not always available, but if it is, take advantage of it now and then for your physical and emotional health. It's not being selfish, it is being wise to enable yourself to better care for your loved ones.

Negative feelings, thoughts, and frustration are normal. Don't beat yourself up when these feelings and thoughts pop up as it is just fatigue and sadness speaking. It is important not to dwell on these thoughts and to continually work on trying to stay positive; very important for your welfare and your marriage.

In dealing with your own desires always think and act with kindness and compassion for your husband. He never wanted his life to be a burden and whether or not he says so, he feels for you, appreciates you, and is fighting his own battle of feelings of guilt.

Stay in the present. Focus on things that are working. Forget past.
Live with disability, not for disability. Live as normally as you can, accepting what you can't change and learning how to live within the boundries the illness or disability has created. Resist the urge to fix what is unfixable.
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Love. Do all things with love. Your thinking, your beliefs, and your actions should be governed by love and by truth in love. Always remember your husband did not choose to be ill or disabled and he did not desire your life to be one of continual service to him. He wants to be the provider and the protector. And while he may not be one to express his appreciation for you, it is there.
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Pray for strength, guidance, patience, and any help you may need. Express all your thoughts to your heavenly Father, humbling seeking His comfort and strength.
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Build your spirit up in His word. The fatigue that comes with being a caregiver may interfere with your Bible time. This is normal, but even if time as well as concentration is difficult, force yourself to spend a few minutes with God's word every day.
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I admire a loving wife who unselfishly steps in and takes care of the needs of her family. I know God is pleased. "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love," 1 Corinthians 16:13-14.
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Here are some websites from younger wives who live with ill or disabled husband. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with everything said on this sites, just offering them for further reading:
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http://www.blogger.com/profile/07113425984851489988  wife of a wounded soldier

http://www.operationhomefront.net/www/  Wounded Warrior Wives

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    The following article comes from Rick Liggin, who is known by many of our readers.  It is an uplifting story about a family who is an excellent example for those of us who are caring for our elderly loved ones.  It appeared in  www.thinkonthesethings.com  and it touched my heart.  I'm sure you will be encouraged, too.  cg

Honoring Parents in Their Old Age.... What it Looks Like

By Rick Liggin

 

By now, most of you will have probably already heard about the passing of Fred E. Pollock on Friday, December 10, 2010 at the age of eighty-five. Fred was a well-known, well-respected, and deeply devoted disciple of Christ, who spent his entire adult life in the service of our King. It was our privilege at the Paris Avenue church in Peoria, Illinois, to have Fred and his beloved wife Fran living among us for the last few years of his life. We were able to watch this man of moral courage and spiritual strength face down his last enemy, death, and gain the victory though Jesus Christ our Lord. And let me tell you, as one who watched it personally, it was an inspiring thing to see.

My one regret for the church here is that we didn’t really get to know Fred before his illness. You see, in 2008, when the Pollock’s daughter, Mary Ann Grant, with her husband Bill, moved the older couple to live with them here in our area, Fred was already sick with Parkinson’s and Lewy Body disease. His motor skills were already greatly diminished by his illness, and soon his cognitive abilities would be affected. That meant that we were only able to know Fred as a man who was physically ill, and not as the extremely capable man he had been all of his life.

We didn’t get to know the man who was a chemical engineer with Proctor and Gamble; or the man who served on the board of directors at both Florida
College
and Guardian of Truth Foundation; or the man who was an elder for many years in at least two separate local churches. We didn’t get to know the man who, together with his talented wife, taught marriage enrichment classes in congregations everywhere. I regret that this church didn’t get to know that Fred Pollock…a man whose life of service was so apparent to all around him.

But this article isn’t really about what we didn’t get to see at Paris Avenue
. Instead, it is about what we did get to see. And it’s not really so much about Fred Pollock and his sweet wife Mary Frances. It’s really about his daughter Mary Ann Grant and her husband Bill (one of our elders), who showed us how to honor our parents…even in their old age. The Bible clearly teaches us all to honor our parents (Ephesians 6:2; cf. Exodus 20:12), but what does that look like...especially when our parents are old? Let me try to help you with that by pointing to what we witnessed at Paris Avenue. Please understand that I do not want in any way to take away from how Fred and Fran’s other children and grand children honored their parents. I just want to tell you about what we saw at Paris Avenue
and how it stands as an example to all of us as we help our parents in their old age.

It was amazing to watch Mary Ann and Bill as they served Fred and Fran. Always acting in Fred and Fran’s best interest, Mary Ann and Bill did what ever it took to give their parents what they needed. At great personal expense, they brought their old, sick parents into their own home to live with them and to provide their care (Mark 7:9-13). They sacrificed so much…their social life, their finances, their energy, and their own health…just to do what was clearly a labor of love. Kevin and Emmy, the Grants only two children left at home, also made sacrifices…especially in terms of their parents’ time and attention; yet they did it without complaint.

Both at home and in public, Mary Ann and Bill always treated Fred and Fran with the utmost dignity and respect. They were always tender, always loving, and always patient…even when it must have been very hard to do so. I never heard Mary Ann or Bill speak a disrespectful word to either Fred or Fran. Even when their mental capabilities and communication skills became severely inhibited, Mary Ann and Bill were still kind, still patient, and still respectful. I can still hear Mary Ann sweetly speaking to her mother, whose severe dementia keeps her in the same conversation over and over again; and I can still see her waiting ever so patiently for her dad to say what was clearly on his mind but so far from his uncooperative tongue. And it was so sweet to see them at church services, helping Fred and Fran to their seats, or with their coats, or with their song books. And it didn’t matter what mishap may have occurred, there was no embarrassment or apology; just respect and dignity and kindness.

The day Fred died I was able to be there with the family; and maybe one of the more respectful and loving things that I ever saw was how Mary Ann patiently helped her mother understand that “daddy was gone.” Fran’s short term memory is so limited by her dementia that even taking a short nap means she wakes up with little or no memory of what happened before. When the funeral home finally came to take Fred’s body, Fran had been sleeping. She awoke with no memory of Fred’s death, and so wanted to know where he was. I can still see Mary Ann as she crawled on to the bed beside her mother, and once again, holding her mother close, helped Fran understand that “daddy was gone.” She spoke to her mother with the same kindness and compassion that she had already used when her father first passed. It was heartbreaking on one hand; but on the other, it was so rich and so good. I can only pray that our children will honor Candy and me with the same kind of respect and dignity.

We may grow up and our parents may grow older, but there will never come a time when our duty to honor them will be relieved. Only when we have finally given them back to God will our responsibility to honor and respect them be complete…and then, we must continue to honor their memory. Yes, those of us here at Paris Avenue may have missed out on a valuable opportunity to witness the life of a great man who devotedly served the Lord. But I believe that in the end, we gained an opportunity of equal value! We got to see what it really means to honor your father and mother.


 ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥
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BLESSED IN AGING
@ @ @
Blessed are they who understand
My faltering step and shaking hand.
Blessed, who know my ears today
Must strain to hear the things they say.

Blessed are those who seem to know
My eyes are dim and my mind is slow.
Blessed are those who look away
When I spilled tea that weary day.

Blessed are they who, with cheery smile
Stopped to chat for a little while.
Blessed are they who know the way
To bring back memories of yesterday.

Blessed are those who never say
"You've told that story twice today".
Blessed are they who make it known
That I am loved, respected and not alone.

And blessed are they who will ease the days
Of my journey home, in loving ways.
~ author unknown ~
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Patience Needed in Caregiving

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"I just screamed and yelled at my mom. I am so so frustrated. I hate feeling so angry. It's not her fault and it's not my fault either, but why do I feel so guilty. Growing old sure isn't like it is in the movies. God, please continue to give me strength to get through this part of my life. I know You make no mistakes and that I need to be appreciative and thankful and I am sorry for not having the patience to handle this at times in not the right way. Amen!"  -anonymous

Response from Pat:

Dear friend,

Thank you for your honesty. I know, from personal experience, caregiving can be very difficult at times and impatience is a very real temptation. Even in the best of families the caregiver may experience feelings of being overwhelmed with not only all the duties that come with caregiving but in the clashes of personalities or the difference in opinions between the caregiver and the one receiving care. Sometimes the one we are caring for may be self-focused and not realize the needs of the caregiver and may not express their gratitude, even though she/he may feel thankful for the care. Other times we may be caring for one who is truly kind and gracious but she may be very open with her opinions that may clash with our own. And still others care for loved ones who have Alzheimers or have had brain injury from a stroke and may have to endure extreme outburst of irrational emotions.

Whatever the case, caregiving can bring us to the point of wanting to burst out in anger towards the one we are caring for, however, even though I have been guilty of this myself, it is something we must control and not allow in our lives. Here are some thoughts that may help you and other caregivers to cope. (Everything on this list may not apply to every caregiver.)

GOD IS PLEASED: Taking care of our parents is a commandment from God and He is well pleased with children who do. In fact, children who care for their parents are admired by all. When times get tough, know your heavenly Father is looking down on you in love for giving your life for another.

1Ti 5:4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God.

IT'S A TOUGH JOB: No matter how close you are to your parent, no matter how good a person your parent is, caregiving is a difficult job, at times. For some, it's a difficult job all day long when the parent requires constant attention. Many years ago I knew a good, faithful woman who would often say, "the devil lives at our house." She wasn't referring to her mother as the devil, but she was describing how difficult the situation was at home, in caring for her mother. Unfortunately, I don't know what the problem was, I was young, inexperienced and didn't offer my help or listening ear.  

One time I was in a restaurant with my mom and I had to manuver her a good distance in and out of people and tables that were too close together. She was using a walker at the time and it took a great deal of effort on her part to walk and a great deal of effort on my part to get through the people, the waiters, and the tables. As we were walking a lady comes up to me and very kindly tells me she knows how difficult my job is as she had been there, and she smiled so sweetly. This kind, understanding response from a stranger helped me so much. No one knows how difficult caregiving can be unless they've been there so let's all try and be a good listener and encourage those who may be having difficulty. 

Pro 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

MAINTAIN A GOOD SENSE OF HUMOR. With ongoing physical and emotional stress, caregivers may find themselves rarely smiling, much less maintaining a good sense of humor. I didn't realize how little I was smiling during my caregiver days until I got a little puppy. That little dog made me smile throughout the day (still does) and I felt my tension melting away. Even my mom, who is far from being a dog lover, enjoyed watching the puppy play. My son got a puppy at the same time and one day when he was visiting us, his little dog, in a split second, ran up my mom's recliner, kissed her on the mouth and ran down again.  We all had a good laugh. For some reason my mom attracts dogs and cats even when she squeals if they rub against her - which they seem to always want to do!

If pets aren't your thing, try and find something that you and your parent enjoy doing together and that which will bring a smile to your face.  

Job 37:14 "Listen to this, O Job; Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God." By looking at God's creation we understand some of the mind of God; because what He created was "good" (Gen. 1) we know that laughter and a sense of humor is good. How can we look at the antics of the young in the animal world and not smile or give a good belly laugh at them  "fighting", tripping, and stumbling. My 4 lb Chihuahua will greet the morning by running outside with her head and tail erect, looking around, ready to face anything, be it large or small, that has the nerve to set foot on her property. I get my first smile of the day from her very confused idea that she is as dangerous as that pit bull down the street. We look at human babies and toddlers and what a joy to see their smiles and hear the funny things that come out of the 3 year old mouths. Humor is a wonderful creation of God and something that is an immediate antidepressant.

DON'T TAKE INSULTS TOO PERSONALLY. You are caring for a person who use to care for you and has to adjust to parent/child roles now being switched. It's difficult for her to adapt to your ways. She may have her own frustration and anger about having to be cared for and losing her independence. Some mothers become more blunt, with age, and easily speak their mind - not to be hurtful (even if it does hurt) but perhaps to hang on to some sense of control. Perhaps it all boils down to their personality and they have always been like they are and it's a matter of saying, "that's just them."

Ecc 7:21-22 Also do not take to heart everything people say, Lest you hear your servant cursing you. For many times, also, your own heart has known That even you have cursed others.

GUILT: Feelings of guilt seen to go hand in hand with caregiving. The caregiver gets physically and emotionally tired and longs for time alone and much needed rest and she begins to wish she had her old life back. Then she thinks of how her parents cared for her and the situation they are now in with their health and she begins to feel guilty for her thoughts. This is natural and there is no need to feel guilty for longing for rest... it's just fatigue talking. If she didn't love her parent, she wouldn't be caring for her to begin with.

While feeling guilt for thoughts we may have during physical and mental fatigue in caregiving, we need to also get a handle on these thoughts and not dwell on them. The problem is, having any type of negative thought continually before us can drop us further into depression and perhaps bitterness. We need to help ourselves by trying our best to think on better things and even irrational guilty feelings can guide us to more positive thinking.

Keep in mind the one being cared for feels guilty as well. I've been in the positions of being a caregiver to parents and a child, as well as being the one cared for during years of being practically bedridden. I've seen this issue from both sides. I've had feelings of guilt as a caregiver and as the one being cared for. When bedridden, I felt so guilty for being such a burden to my husband and family, knowing I shouldn't feel guilty and no one made me feel that way... it's just part of the normal process that takes place.

Guilt that comes from losing impatience or a burst of anger is a good peacemaker. If we have done wrong in a loss of self-control guilt will poke us to do what's right - apologize and be more aware in the future.

Act 24:16 This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.

SELF-CONTROL: This is essential, as you know. If you didn't realize this you wouldn't have written. There was a time when I was asking God's forgiveness every night for my lack of self-control when I was caring for my parents. At times I would be outwardly impatient but, most of the time, it was inward. It was thoughts that I wasn't controlling very well and while I didn't allow these thoughts to come out verbally I'm sure I wasn't acting as loving and kindly as I should have. We could excuse ourselves by saying we can't help it or that we are only responding to our parent's lack of self-control but God never gives us an excuse to have any sinful feelings or actions.

Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

Luk 21:19 By your patience possess your souls.

CAREGIVING IS A PART OF LIFE: Because of families living apart and because we modern Americans are so government program oriented we don't plan for caregiving to be a part of our lives and when it comes, we are surprised by it. Other times we may plan for it but when it arrives, it is much more difficult than we realized and we decide we don't want any part of it. Throughout time, caring for aged parents probably involved more family members due to the families living and working together. In modern times, caregiving often falls on one child's shoulders because that child either lives the closest to the parent or doesn't have a full time job. Whatever the case, caregiving should be expected by all of us and planned for. And just like marriage and raising children it has times when it's easy and times when it's difficult, but we all must learn how to be good caregivers just like we learn how to be good wives and mothers. Perhaps this is a good topic to discuss in our ladies' classes and do teaching in this area to help train all women to be caregivers.

Eph 6:2 Honor thy father and mother.

PUT OURSELVES IN THEIR PLACE: One day most likely we will require a caregiver. How will we want to be treated? What will our thoughts and feelings be?

1Pe 3:8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;

SWEET OLD LADY?....NOT NECESSARILY! And what about caring for parents who are difficult to get along with? Older people have their quirks and they may be very opinionated and feel free to release those opinions daily, throughout the day. They may be selfish and not think of your needs. Some children may find themselves caring for a parent who had not been a good parent to them and now they have to give the nurturing they themselves hadn't received. The negative feelings that come from this has to be resolved and put aside as it can be a daily torment if kept in your heart. We have to say to ourselves that they are the one at fault and we are not going to allow their wrongdoing to drag us down and tempt us to act and think in a sinful manner. Their wrongs do not make it right for us to respond unkindly. While it may seem unfair, this is just how it is in order to be pleasing to God.

God didn't create commands in order to confuse us or to irritate us. His commands help us to live a more peaceful life. His laws are created from love and they not only benefit ourselves but also the ones we come in contact with. Satan's recommendation of responding unkindly to those who mistreat us only creates more stress within ourselves and does nothing to help change the situation for the better.

Rom 14:19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.

Rom 12:18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

PRAYER: Confessing our difficulties to God and asking for wisdom and patience is very important in order to find strength to be a good caregiver. God sees all. He knows the trials that come and He understands your stress. Share all your pain and confess your faults and truly repent. Plead for help from the One who has the wisdom and power to provide.

1Pe 5:7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

WORD OF GOD: Use God's word daily to strengthen you. Find relevant scriptures, copy them into a booklet you can pick up and read when temptations of impatience come or tape a scripture on your wall in a place where you will see it throughout the day.

Psa 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS: (1) Caregivers have an opportunity to grow in their spiritual service to God (2) Caregiving is an act of love (3) it can give a meaningful purpose to your life (4) You are being a good example to others (5) keep going and add your own.....

Jas 5:11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

BE THANKFUL: Remember the years of care and concern your parent gave you. This isn't said to create guilt, it's a good reminder I used myself when times got difficult - it helped to put life into perspective and to be thankful for the opportunity to serve my parents in return.

Col 3:12-15 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

TALK TO AN UNDERSTANDING FRIEND: Confession is good for the soul. You confessed to us and I appreciate it. I would recommend confessing your weaknesses to someone who has been a caregiver or who is a good friend who understands your situation. I found myself telling some what a difficult situation I was in and getting zero response. I had asked for help and still no response. Some didn't want to be involved and others just don't understand how difficult daily life can be as a caregiver. Getting a negative response or no response can bring more pain so choose carefully who you talk to.

Jas 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

 1Th 5:11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

ENDURE IN LOVE: Love covers a multitude of sins. Godly love as described in 1 Corinthians 13 can prevent outbursts of anger. That chapter is our rule of daily living in our marriage, in parenting and in caregiving.

1Co 13:4-8 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

_______________________

I wish for the best for you and your's. I didn't always practice what I just recommended and if I was caregiving on a daily basis again, I would probably fail at times. However, all God's commandments apply to us and we can't allow Satan to tempt us to excuse any sinful outburst. We have to change our way of thinking and practice, practice, practice self-control.

My heart goes out to you, knowing how difficult your life may be. Look for blessings in your lives together... they are there. And the ultimate blessing is that you are given an opportunity to serve the Lord in your service to another. May God bless you with peace and keep you and your loved one in His care.

Write again and let us know how it's going. Thanks again for writing.

If all goes as planned, I may just do a followup article addressing those who are being cared for and advice on ways they can help in bringing a more peaceful environment. Both the caregiving and the one being cared for need to try their best (within their capabilities) to live together in harmony.

 

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A Little Chat With God - #6
(personal plea)
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Ruth Miller
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Good afternoon:
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I know you are aware of the situation I am struggling with at this time because you are an all-knowing God.  And, because of this, I need to chat with you and seek guidance as well as ask you for endurance and strength to do this task with love, patience, compassion and humility.  I ask for strength to carry on the daily activities that will be required of me.  I ask that I can handle this situation in a way that it will not endanger my own health.  I ask that I not be tempted to not accept the responsibility that is placed upon my shoulders in this particular situation.  But then again, with regard to temptation, I also know that you will not put upon me more than I can bear as you have stated in I Cor.10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as it common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 
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Life can take some very cruel turns, and at this time, I feel I am in one of those turns.  However, I will be the first to admit that these cruel turns in life, as I call them, are strengtheners and help us build character . . . sometimes they jerk us back to reality from which we may have strayed . . . sometimes they work at a catalyst to make us realize all of the wonderful blessings we have in you, instead of pursuing more and more and more in life.   I know that you are but a breath away and when I stumble, you are there to pick me up and strengthen me.  This knowledge and faith in you has kept me afloat so many times with other situations in my past . . . and without this faith, I would be as a wanderer in the desert without direction.
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We, as humans with such frail minds, cannot see or understand the wisdom of things that often happen in this earthly realm.  Sometimes life seems really harsh as it unfolds day after day.  But I know you do not send evil or pain . . . and, sometimes, a lot of our ills are coincident with the way we live our life.  For example, I know an alcoholic was not born in that state and a drug user made the choice to become such.  I think what I am trying to say here is that we all have choices to make and how we make decisions during our life is the ultimate factor to how our life unfolds before us.  You are so merciful to provide every human being on this earth with a free will . . . the ability to choose right or wrong . . . that is always with us, but sometimes we get so involved with the “pleasures” of earth that we make unwise decisions and then we ultimately have to face the consequences thereof.  You do not “cause” this; it is we, ourselves, individually, that have done this entirely on our own.  And sometimes we do not want to own up to the fact that we have caused our problems, sometimes we can’t accept what we are literally doing to ourselves . . . but that is something called responsibility, and I will discuss with you at another time.
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But for the real reason I am writing this to you today . . . you know Edith, my mother-in-law, is so severely mentally challenged with Alzheimer’s disease.  She has lived a hard but productive life.  She has been a child of yours for so many years, but now, she is suffering such a mental collapse with this devastating disease that just goes into one’s mind and ravages it from one end to the other.  I know you did not cause this travesty.  I realize all too well that there are occurrences in our life and the life of others that touch our lives and we do not know why they happen, but they do happen.  Sometimes things happen, and at that time, we think it is about the worst situation we have ever been through, but we manage to get through it and then down the line, a little light seems to come on in our own head and we do see how that “worst” thing in our life was, in retrospect, one of the best things for us.  I firmly believe that for everything that does happen during our life here on earth, there is a reason, hidden or otherwise.  But again, that is just me.
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In your infinite wisdom and mercy, it may be that while I am enduring this situation which has been put upon me, that I will be made more humble in your sight; I may learn more patience and compassion for the ill or it may be meant for me to learn humility to a higher level.  And if this be the case, you, in essence, are building my character towards a godly one to make me a better soul in your sight.  You are strengthening me in the ways you want me to go; you are teaching me your ways.
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My daily prayer will be that you sustain me in all of these qualities: patience, endurance, attitude, compassion, humility and love.  I will be calling on you to build me up to a higher level in these categories on most days.  I will probably ask you to reduce my sense of smell when she has a bad accident in her bed so that I may be able to handle such without embarrassing either of us.  Only you know how weak a stomach I have for these incidents in life.  I pray that when she is sick and I have to tend to her needs that I can do this without making myself sick. 
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I will be asking of you to infuse upon my heart the quality of patience, as I know I will need this on a much higher plane than I have ever had previously.  Having been a caregiver for 25 years, I too am getting weary of these challenges, and my patience is wearing very thin.  I find myself some days wanting to get away from this responsibility, I find myself wanting to do as others my age have been doing and enjoying life with time to myself and  time for just the two of us, my husband and me, to travel or just to sit quietly and read a book without interruption.  But then I put myself to shame as I know the people I care for are in much worse shape than I am and they need someone to care for them.  And I too know that someday I may be in such a situation and I would want someone to care for me.  This thought puts my focus right back where it should be.
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Strengthen my weak body that I may be able to lift her when this is needed, physically, mentally and spiritually.  With her mind in such a ravaged state, there will be times I must just remain silent and listen . . . smile or simply touch her hand.  There will be times I will have to take what she says and let it be tossed to the wind and know she is not the Edith I have had for a mother-in-law for so many years; and, I understand that from now on, when she says unseemingly rude things to me, or yells at me, that this is not my Edith speaking.  I know that when she is in a highly agitated state and perhaps would like to take a swing at me, that this is not my Edith.  Give me an abundance of understanding into her life as it is at this time so that I can ease her diminishment of life.
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I know I have really talked your ear off today but I just have to let you know that I am very concerned about this situation which has so suddenly developed into a full-blown, day and night, care giving responsibility.  I want to do what is right for both her and me, because I know I have to remain healthy to keep her in the best possible care until you take her home to live with you. And again, as I have requested of you so many times, please take her peacefully in her sleep so that she will not know the sting of death. Take her soon Heavenly Father, if it be your will, so she does not have a lucid moment to fully realize the extent of her illness, as she would be so devastated if she were in her right mind and realized the form her life is taking at this time. 
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Her doctor has stressed to me on several occasions, his concern for me in taking on such a tremendous responsibility, now that she has full-blown Alzheimer’s disease, with all the “amenities” that come with this.  However, I have taken care of her for the past seven years, just not under such dire circumstances. I know without a scintilla of a doubt, that with your help, you will see me through this chapter of my life unscathed.  I additionally know that you will guide me with the necessary wisdom and understanding to be able to make the appropriate decision, should I get to the point that I can no longer handle her care without endangerment to either her or myself, and you will allow me the ability  to take leave of my duties without sorrow or without guilt, to place her under the care of others who can provide where I could not. 
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Again, I realize that I have taken a big chunk of your time today and I understand I have burdened you with a load of care  . . . but I know you hear my pleas and you will provide appropriately.  For that I am so grateful.  Thank you for listening to my plea.  Until the next time . . .
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Written by Ruth Miller
immediately prior to
Edith’s hospital discharge
© June 25, 2011
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NOTE FROM PAT: Thank you, Ruth. Many of us who have been or are caregivers can identify with what you are saying. I appreciate your trust in God and desire to find strength in Him.
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A comforting blessing is that we can talk and talk and talk to our heavenly Father and He never is burdened or weary of our dependence on Him. It is only when we try and handle all our burdens on our own when He grows weary... weary of our self-reliance without coming to Him in humble submission.
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I appreciate your love for others and always giving of yourself. Thank you for the kind and encouraging notes to send to all of us at Our Hope.

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http://ourhopeonline.com

November 2017