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Caring forparents is difficult task
Stephen Ministry
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Parents are such a huge chapter in our personal “book of life.” To so many, they are the one constant that stands firm when nothing else will. Parents have always been there for us. They are the mold by which most of us have been shaped.
As our short-term memories start to cloud up, our long-term memories seem to stay clear and sharp. We recall days and years gone by, especially times growing up with mom and dad. It’s nice to flash back to happy places in our pasts, times that represent the good old days.
Many of life’s lessons were taught at home by the firm but loving hands of parents and family members. We like remembering the days when the values we were taught shaped our futures, where the scent of mom’s home cooking still lingers in the air, when we had to do our chores and homework, respect our elders, go to church and have fun without high-tech devices.
Most of us can slip off to our own “special places” in time where we relive the happiest moments of our lives. And during most of those times — holidays, special occasions, milestones or even tough times — mom and dad played big roles.
Some things never change and I’m happy about that. But my mom always said, “The older you get, the faster time flies,” and “ You never know what tomorrow may bring.”
I used to think these phrases were just things older folks said, but now that I am “older folks,” I see how wise my mom was.
It seems like yesterday when my dad came to live with me after my mom was unexpectedly “called home.” Taking parents or other family members in to live with you was pretty normal in my neck of the woods. When it came to family, we were happy to help in any way we could.
Well, times haven’t changed for a lot of us. We still hold the same values for those who raised us and were there for us. But even though we honor our fathers and mothers, big lifestyle changes can raise stress levels and affect our lives and relationships.
Becoming a parental caregiver is a labor of love. Many changes and decisions will occur in our daily lives. Some changes will be easy to adjust to. Other changes, such as increased time demands, dietary issues, critical home care, financial hardships and behavioral concerns, will require strength and patience.
Many people who have parents in assisted-living or full-time care facilities also face these challenges. The stresses, even under the best of circumstances, may weigh heavily on our day-to-day lives, our spouses, our children, jobs and general lifestyles.
Stephen Ministers can and do make a difference in the lives of “care giver kids.” We are trained and have experienced many of the same circumstances when it comes to caring for our own parents. We have worked with many other individuals and families to cope with stresses related to caregiving. We are Christian caregivers who will walk with you through issues related to parents and other family members for as long as it takes. We are part of a long-established and respected global Christian ministry organization attached to First Baptist Church in Hinesville.
We provide completely confidential, gender-sensitive, faith-based caregiving at no cost. If you or someone you know needs the help of a Stephen Minister, call John at First Baptist Church at 876-2687 or 320-7840 for an appointment.
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