How To Care For The Aged

By Kathy Howard

Wouldn’t it be great if our aging parents came with an instruction manual? But no guidebook exists. We don’t have a troubleshooting checklist.

Yet, many of us are struggling to navigate the family role-reversal. The parent who cared for us now needs our care. And we are often physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted. So, how can we excel at this challenging, God-given task?

The first – and best – things we can do are not “tangible.” Things like pray constantly, rely on God for daily strength, and humbly seek His wisdom. And let’s do those things. Every day let’s do those things.

But I’ve also needed practical help as I’ve cared for aging parents. My father-in-law lived with my husband and me for the last five years of his life. Although his mind remained relatively sound, he experienced a host of serious health issues that required an ongoing combination of surgeries, hospital care, inpatient rehab, and at-home physical and occupational therapy. At the same time, my own parents’ conditions began to deteriorate. Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Dad with Parkinson’s Disease.

Although every family’s situation is unique, we all face many of the same challenges. We all want to meet those challenges and do what’s best for our parents. And we all want to care for them in a way that pleases God. So, maybe these few things I’ve stumbled across will be helpful to you as well.


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