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Care Tending

Care Tending

I wonder how many folks realize the enormous toll that occurs in the lives of those who are care tenders for those who can no longer independently care for themselves. Emotionally, it can be draining. Physically, it can be taxing, as well. Yes, typically, people do love those whom they care for but that doesn’t eliminate the issues that affect the care tenders.

There are folks who have outside jobs and careers with the added responsibilities of tending to dependent loved ones. Many care tenders have little or no additional help thus they have to do social engagements with their dependent loved ones, laundry, grocery shopping, medical appointments, business duties, cook, clean, monitor, and other assorted tasks. Also, the social lives of care tenders are considerably altered, which can be depressing.

Yes, care tending can be grueling indeed. Love is certainly often in motion, but exhaustion on spiritual, mental and physical levels still exists. Whew. My heart goes out to those folks who are in such circumstances. Support groups sure do prove helpful.

I’ve heard of instances where the dependent loved ones have more than one adult child/relative in reasonable geographic distance yet so often, only one does the bulk of the care. That one gets overloaded because other relatives selfishly don’t sufficiently share in the care tending. On the flip side, it’s a pleasure to know of family members who balance the care among one another so that no one of them is overwhelmed. They lovingly share in the tending.

Sadly, there are cases when dependent loved ones need to be placed in facilities because their situations require it. Such decisions are indeed difficult to make. Relocations from familiar surroundings can be a shock to the systems, particularly relative to the elderly. Some of them never fully recover from the transitions while others settle in and manage to become comfortable in their new environments. Faith in and connection with God/Christ helps tremendously. Friendships are developed, spiritual involvements, church and social activities aid, as does music, and day trips for those who can travel.

One of my dear friends is a registered nurse. She’s shared how some patients are regularly ill-tempered and grouchy. I guess such attitudes can be coping mechanisms. I feel, though, for the health professionals who are verbally assaulted by patients. In some cases, physical assaults happen to health care workers. On the other hand, we’ve learned of accounts where fragile people are abused by those who work in the health care industry. It’s disheartening to learn of such cruel and insensitive behavior from whatever direction it comes.

God is love and concerned about balance in our lives. We need to be mindful that nothing is deeper and more important than love demonstrations. Of course, tough love is sometimes par for courses. God can guide us as to how to reasonably practice our love motions.

Care tending is an immense responsibility and sacrifice. My hope is that more folks will lovingly share in the exercise of it. Scores of care tenders need relief and help in what they so generously sacrifice to do for the many dependent people.

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