I know after a month of radio silence here at TakingCareofGrandma.com, you’ve probably been wondering what we’ve been up to lately. [Read more…]
Welcome to the the second in my series of Bible studies about the moral imperative for caregiving.
When I was feeling disheartened about caregiving because everyone was telling me to ‘put my grandma in a home,’ I turned to the Bible to give me hope and encouragement to know that I was doing the right thing. Turns out, that God has a lot to say about the responsibility of taking care of your loved ones.
One of the Bible verses that keeps me going through difficult days and stormy seasons is Hebrews 6:10-12.
“For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.”
In Hebrews 6, the author is helping the church how they can demonstrate their faith and the rewards that come with obedience. In this particular verse, the author is offering hope and encouragement to continue to fulfill God’s command during difficult times.
“For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. (Hebrews 6:10)
Sometimes, when we’re in the throes of caregiving, the negatives can seem to overwhelmingly outweigh the positives. It’s easy to get discouraged.
When people stop coming around and calling to check on you…. When people say they’re there for you, but don’t really help when you need them… It’s easy to feel forgotten about.
God is an all-knowing God with a perfect memory. He sees what others don’t see- he sees the tears you cry, he sees the sacrifices you have made for your loved one, and he sees when others turn turn their backs on you.
This verse is reassuring the church that God will not let their trials and tribulations go unnoticed, as long as we put our faith into action and show love out of obedience, not just for show.
Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. (Hebrews 6:11)
From cover to cover throughout God’s word, we are mandated to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Everyone has heard the phrase “Walking the talk.” If we are truly to be like Jesus, we have to do what Jesus did and convert our affections into action.
If we are truly saved and truly following God’s word, we have to do more than just say we care for others. We should do things not because of how good they will make us look or the attention we can get from others, but because we are commanded to do them.
If we are obedient to His command, then we will receive our glory (glory from Above, not from man) and reap our blessings.
“Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance. (Hebrews 6:12)
Even when we are knee deep in dirty laundry, soaked from giving baths, and downtrodden by the disappointments of others, we have to persevere out of our duty to love one another. If we are simply doing things to get glory or attention from others, or with the expectation of a payoff at the end of the journey, we are doing them for the wrong reasons.
We have to be careful not become self-righteous and walk in the ways of the world. Somehow the world equates good deeds with righteousness. We as humans are not inherently righteous. Just because we do good things, if we do them on our own for our own sake, they are done in vain. True righteousness comes when you walking with God (Romans 3:10–12). If the love of God is our motivation, we will naturally do what He has called us to do.
Caregiving is truly carrying out God’s command to love our fellow man. The blessings of caregiving do not come from the praise (or pity) we get from others. The blessings of caregiving come when you make love a verb and truly live out your life everyday with the love of God in your heart.
Are there Bible verses that you turn to in times of trouble for a comforting word or a reminder that you’re on the right path? Drop them in the comments!
I’ve been keeping something from you all! If you know me, you know that I have a hard time keeping things in! I’m SO GLAD it’s finally out so I can share this all over the interwebs!
A couple months ago while we were celebrating the TCG Blogiversary, the SCAN Foundation out of California, contacted me about coming out to KC and interviewing me about my caregiving experience with my grandma. Of course I said, “YES!”
I’m proud to present to you What’s the Story?, a video by created by the SCAN Foundation to kick off the Do You Give a Care campaign.
When I first began my caregiving journey, I felt very isolated. It wasn’t until start the talking about caregiving (by starting this blog) just how many people I know and meet everyday are also caring for someone they love. I realized that there are millions of people like us out there taking care of our loved ones everyday. There are so many of us out there, and we are islands. We have to change that!
I’m partnering with The SCAN Foundation to tell my story to raise awareness, and form an informed, supportive caregiving
community for young people. The Do YOU give a care? movement is empowering advocates to improve the experience for
all Millennials providing care as well as for their loved ones.
Millennials are constantly picked on as being lazy and self-centered. I am honored to be part of this effort to reframe perceptions of millennials and raise awareness about Millennials who are caregiving. As my friend Deb at AdvocateforMomandDad.com said,
“Young caregivers are the unseen soldiers of the caregiving world. With thanks to the SCAN foundation for highlighting these selfless young people.”
I hope this movement will not only bring us closer together, but also help current caregivers identify their important roles so they can get the information they need to support their loved ones and themselves, find opportunities to connect with others, and understand how they can navigate supports.
If you’re a millennial caregiver, join the movement!
Post it to Instagram and Facebook. Tweet it out. Share it to your caregiving groups (if you want some invites, let me know ;)). Write about it and share their materials on your blog. Let’s blast this all over the internet!
Share your story and connect with what they are doing at yougiveacare.org
I’m Rachel and I care for my grandma, Barbara. I’ve been doing it for three years now.
The first thing I want to tell you is it’s not the government’s job to take care of you when you get old or have a disability.
A lot of people live with the misconception that the government takes care of people when they get older. The fact is, the responsibility lies solely on us to make sure our loved ones receive the best care in their golden years in accordance with their wishes. If you are not prepared, you will not know what is available to you when the time comes for you to care for an aging relative or someone with a disability.
The good news is, with a little research and planning, you can have conversations now that will help everyone in your family have a direction for a good life, even when someone needs help.
The second thing I want to tell you is the current LTC system is not and will never be able to take care of everyone who needs help.
Silver tsunami. Baby boom. No matter what you want to call it, our country is facing a demographic nightmare.
With all of these people getting older and eventually needing help themselves, there is a shrinking pool of human bodies to fill the gap. Nursing facilities and home care agencies all face the same issue. Finding people to care.
Older Americans use Medicare for their health coverage. Medicare covers a lot of ancillary services, and even home health after a hospitalization, but it does not cover long term care. With terrifying news reports claiming Medicare will run out within the near future, we have to be aware of how we are going to help our aging relatives be healthy and safe. Shrinking budgets means less funding, and you know as well as I do that social services are normally first to be cut.
The fact remains that for many government paid services, you have to be eligible for Medicaid, which means you are living in poverty. Most middle class people simply do not qualify for these kinds of supports. They have to leverage private insurance and their own assets to pay for care.
The majority of older Americans want to live at home. We cannot (and should not) just dump our loved ones in nursing homes. We owe it to our elders to honor their wishes. So we have to figure out how we can support them as their needs change.
As millennials, and the ones who will be soon caring for our parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles, and friends, we have a responsibility to learn about the current status of formal and paid long term services and supports. We have a responsibility to educate ourselves on the policies and practices around aging and family caregiving in America today, so we can make our voices heard for change.
We have to learn about what’s available to everyone in the community that we can build on. We have to explore how innovations in technology and basic tools we use everyday can help keep our loved ones safe and happy at home.
Most importantly, we have to think differently about what long term supports really means. Aside from community and governmental services and supports, we ARE the long term care system in this country. We will be the ones making sure our folks are healthy, safe, and happy. It is OUR JOB.
We need to start having these conversations now! If you wait until your loved one needs help or you’re in the throes of caregiving, it’s too late.
Don’t live under a rock.
LeadingAge.org is currently leading a campaign to raise awareness around long term supports and services. Learn more at http://www.leadingage.org/carrytheconvo
This blog post/email contains affiliate and referral links which may reward me in the event of a subscription or sale. I use these funds to feed my cats. Thanks for the cat food.
I always say I find everything good on Twitter. Over the past few months, The Dawn Method showed up in my cross hairs.
Last week, on a whim, I saw a post on Twitter – and I decided to buy their book on Kindle, The Dementia Handbook: How to Provide Dementia Care at Home, written by Judy Cornish.
This book is a fast read. I read it in just a little over an hour from cover to cover (which I did over the span of two sittings).
To begin, Judy lays out the basic facts about dementia. If you don’t currently know someone living with dementia, the chances are high that fairly soon, someone you know will be affected by it. Contrary to popular belief, all people aren’t able to be cared for in a residential facility. Nor is that is necessarily ‘best practice.’ So to survive dementia, we have to learn how it affects people and how we can adapt to help them live their best life.
Judy explains how the dementia brain works and the changes that take place when someone is affected by dementia. She covers what people lose (memory, skills), but she also underlines what they keep (the ability to enjoy beauty and live in the moment).
Judy gives a broad overview of what person-centered care for a person with dementia looks like. She shares the key elements of care that can enhance what people keep when their brains and bodies are changing. Then she goes on to give more specific strategies for helping an aging loved one with dementia age in place at home.
She covers a ton of topics, from helping with daily activities and recreation to ensuring safety and feelings of security. She offers advice and tips for everyday life: grocery shopping, finding misplaced items, and communicating with other people.
At the end, Judy shares the rationale for caring for loved ones with a form of dementia at home. I rejoiced when I got to this section. Judy confirmed and validated the values and beliefs that I have come to embrace over the years. She challenges the commonly held misconceptions around elder care in our country. It’s a fact. The current system of long term care is not practical. It is out of reach for many families. But even more than that, supporting our loved ones and aging community members is the compassionate thing to do. After a life of giving back to our communities and taking care of us, it’s time we honor our elders’ choices and rights.
This book helped me realize I was on the right track. It gave me some very smart strategies to act on. More importantly, it helped me understand some of the things that I have been doing that weren’t necessarily therapeutic for either of us.
I’m so glad I found this book. I will be telling everyone about it. Even as I read it, I found myself screen-shotting pages to share with my grandma’s ‘helpers’ to help them grasp my vision for supporting my grandma and reinforce things I’ve been saying all along.
Who should read this book? Anyone who
- has a loved one who is getting older,
- works in the health care field,
- family caregivers affected by dementia (or not).
The tips and strategies in this book can be used to support anyone who is aging or has a disability.
Get your copy of The Dementia Handbook: How to Provide Dementia Care at Home on Amazon. I bought the Kindle version, but it is also available as a paperback.
Words of Wisdom
Everyone is quick to give caregivers advice.
Sometimes advice is helpful. Especially when it comes from people who have ‘been there.’
Hear from our featured guests on what they wish they would have known looking back.
What advice do you have for someone who sees caregiving in their future or is currently in the throes of caregiving? We want to hear from you! Drop your words of wisdom in the comments below!
Thank you for joining the TCG Blogiversary! I hope you enjoyed the videos and learned as much as I did!
Caring for the Caregiver
As caregivers, we hear that we need to practice “self care” all of the time.
But what is self care, exactly?
Hear from our featured guests on what self care looks like for them, the resources they rely on, and just for fun: what they’d do when/if they got a break from caregiving.
What do YOU do to make sure you are your best self?
What resources do you rely on?
What would you do if you could have a day off?
Share with us in the comments below!
Next, we will hear words of wisdom from our featured guests for current and future caregivers. Stick with us for the TCG Blogiversary!
Taking the Good with the Bad
A lot of the time when we hear about caregiving, we hear about the frustrations and struggles that all caregivers experience.
I am a firm believer that you have to take the good with the bad.
In this set of clips from our featured guests, we will focus on not only the challenges of caregiving, but also the blessings that come with it.
What have YOU found the most rewarding about caregiving? What have been hurdles you have gotten over in your caregiving journey? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences! Drop them in the comments below!
Next, we will hear from our featured guests about what self care looks like for them and tips and tricks that have helped them maintain their sanity. Stick with us for the TCG Blogiversary!
Creating Being Well
Next at the TCG Blogiversary Party is Saskia. Originally from the Netherlands, she created a new life for herself in Canada. She has cared for many different folks, personally and professionally over the years.
Saskia is a very dynamic personality and has a lot of great insight to share.
In this video, Saskia describes who she is, who she’s cared for, and what her family dynamics look like.
Is your experience similar to Saskia’s? We’d love to hear from you. Drop a line in the comments!
Next, we will hear from our featured guests about blessings and challenges… and taking the good with the bad. Stick with us for the TCG Blogiversary!
A few months after I started this blog, I found Caregiving.com. That point in time changed the course my caregiving trajectory in a way that I never expected. [Read more…]