by Rhonda Osborne, Chief Executive Officer

Not long ago my soon to be 12- year old grandson and I were discussing getting older. We talked about not only his getting older but also me getting older. He turned to me and said, “Nana, I’ll take care of you.” That comment touched my heart. To him, at this point while I am independent and able to care for myself, the commitment to care for an aging loved one was a simple statement of love.

Those of you who are caregivers know that caregiving is FAR from simple. Caregiving is hard – in all ways, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I acknowledge to those who have been in the caregiving role or currently in that role, you are demonstrating sacrificial love.

Many times a listening ear can be beneficial to caregivers.

They often need encouragement – don’t we all! It is good to hear the words of encouragement or to see the acts of encouragement such as helping with tasks. Perhaps a friend may not be comfortable helping with tasks of caregiving but can help with the routine tasks of living. Do not wait for the caregiver to ask – jump in and serve.

Frequently words of affirmation can be life giving to caregivers. When bogged down in the 24 hr./day routine of caregiving, affirmation can be the boost of strength to continue another day – sometimes just another hour.

Caregivers need respite – a break. Many times caregivers are reluctant to leave their loved one but they can receive respite through a friend’s visit. While visiting suggest while you are there the caregiver take a nap, a walk outside, go to the grocery store or a bubble bath. Short breaks again can be the just the boost they need to face the next hours and days.

For those caregivers who have chosen Hospice of Marshall County to assist you in your caregiving role, I hope that we have provided you encouragement, affirmation and respite. Thank you for allowing us to companion you on this difficult journey. HMC is mission driven; our goal in our business of ministry is to provide care with a servant’s heart.

Be encouraged today; be affirmed that when serving you are serving the “least of these” and for our respite we are told to “come unto me for I (our Lord) will give you rest.”