Dear Full-Time Caregivers of Loved Ones with Dementia—
I want to give you a standing ovation right now, but I’m too exhausted. I don’t know how you do it, but I applaud you. And I hope you can get a nap soon.
I’m only part-time support for my dad who is the full-time caregiver. But I want a nap, too. I’m sure I don’t deserve one compared to what you deal with, but I am worn out.
It’s been a week of Mom needing help getting up off furniture and of multiple messy clothes changes within hours. Each time Mom has to be changed she is shouting at the top of her lungs death threats and hatred. I know she doesn’t mean her words, but the stress is real for both of us.
It’s been a week with a dear aunt gradually leaving us as she’s in in hospice care and a mother-in-law who needs comforting. There have been extra responsibilities at church and cars that aren’t working right. There’ve been the little things like bills I haven’t had time to pay and groceries I haven’t had time/energy to shop for.
And then there is my dear dad—an engineer by profession. A driver and a doer who wants to always improve things. He has good and right plans. But they all require help because he can’t see to drive or shop or do all the things he’s so capable of doing if only he could see. And though I’m thankful I can help him, the to-do list never ends.
And so here I sit, grateful to have a home to come to that is quiet and peaceful. And I marvel at all you full-time care givers and I hope you have relatives and friends that marvel at you, too. I hope you are being covered in prayer and offered help that is cheerfully given.
And most importantly I hope you’re able to spend time with the Lord. I hope you hear His words of love and that you know He hears your heart as you pour it out to Him. I hope you get chances to go to church and that you surround yourself with music that blesses you.
And if no one is encouraging you, please know that God is watching. And as you feed and clothe and care for your beloved stranger, know that you are feeding and clothing and caring for Jesus Himself. (See Matthew 25:40)
And whether you are a fulltime or part-time care giver, or dealing with other challenges, I pray that we will all find our refuge in Him. And that we will take comfort under the cover of His wings and sense the presence of His angels bearing us up. (See Psalm 91.)
And through it all, I pray that we will learn to give thanks and keep praising God. He is good and worthy of praise, even when days aren’t. May God give us the strength to declare His lovingkindness in the morning and His faithfulness every night. (See Psalm 92:2)
Oh dear full-time care-givers, God bless you! And know that as soon as I eat some supper and get some energy back, I’ll be giving you that standing ovation.