Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A change of seasons: Elder Care

What is elder care?

There comes a point in every persons life that they may begin to depend on others a bit more for the physical, or even mental aspects of daily living. Whether it be through an accident, normal wear and tear of the body and mind, or age related matters, our human frames become frail.

All of this of course is the result of sin.

From the time of the fall, man has been on a downward spiral. The hope of course is the fact that the Son has crushed the head of the serpent. For that we rejoice. But it has not put the breaks on death in the physical sense.

The charlatans of the world who tout mystical healing and immense wealth by trusting in God are all aging just like the rest of us. Their hearing is becoming impaired, their vision is waning, and their gait will slow and eventual stop.

Our hope is not in this world. In fact, it is not our home. But while we are here, as aliens in a foreign world, we are to shine brightly, so that the world may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.

Part of that is seen in caring for the aged.

It starts at home.

If we have parents who need care, let us be proactive and work diligently to aid them at what ever level they will allow us. Some parents are, naturally, resistant to change, or resistant to an open dependency on their children. This will be more difficult, and it may be that only the passing of time will eventually allow a child to care for the parent, when they are finally unable to care for themselves.

Patience is critical and how one eases into elder care will determine the environment following the integration of a parent into the home.

Take into account things that bring comfort to your parents and insure that they are available after the move. Keep an open mind surrounding the placement of decorations, furniture and personal items. What seems perfectly logical to you may be uncomfortable or unsuitable to your parent.

Are there pets to consider? What about hobbies or guests they may have? These are matters that must be decided well in advance to avoid sharp disagreements in the future.

How about siblings? Are they all in agreement with the move? There can be great stress at family reunions if the move is not done in an amiable way.

Ultimately it is the parents choice, if they are able to make the choice with a clear mind. Don't press, but pray. Ask the Lord to give peace and wisdom to your decisions and weigh your words in the crucible of the Scripture, speaking with great respect to your parents so that honor is truly being shown.