Choose Joy and Give Thanks!

November, 2017

Fall, cool weather, sweaters, coats, electric blankets, etc, etc, etc.

Oh the joy of changing seasons!

As your house gets cooler and the thermostat goes higher so will your power bills. One way to keep your loved one warm (without roasting everyone else), is to purchase a twin-size electric blanket and use it not only for the bed but also for them as they sit in their chair during the day. Heat their clothes in the dryer (not the microwave) before dressing for the day or for the night. Warm, fuzzy socks are always appreciated but this time of year, you can purchase them with rubber dots to prevent falls. Stock up on them to use all year!   

As you plan for Thanksgiving, remember to CHOOSE JOY!  Many stressors will come and go throughout the month with additional family, friends and food.  Don't let it get you down!  Choose to give thanks and rejoice in the position God has given you!

Concentrate on the Joy!

Caregiving requires many things from the Caregiver.

Physically – Caregiving requires a strong back, strong arms and strong legs. Along with strength, there needs to be an understanding of ‘proper body mechanics’. Don’t ever try to just pull on your loved ones arms to get them up or turned over. Place a sheet across the middle under them if they are bedridden and need to be turned. Pull on the sheet rather than their body. (A baby bed sheet works great!) It is less likely to injure you or them! A sheet can also be used to tie around the waist to assist your loved one in getting around whether up and down out of a chair or giving you something to hold on to while they are walking that will not bruise them. Constantly holding or supporting under the arm, after a while, will make your loved one feel sore/bruised.

Emotionally – Be an encourager! There is always something you can say to encourage your loved one. Compliment their smile, the way they ate their food today, their hair or their clothes. We especially need to control our tone of voice and avoid all criticism.

  Psalm 30:5 “… weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” 

Concentrate on the Joy!

Joy

James 1:2 paraphrased states, "Count it all JOY when you meet trials of various kinds."  As a caregiver we are facing trials daily, usually something different every day! It may be time for a doctor's appointment for either your loved one or maybe for yourself. Yes, make time for your personal appointments! It may be time to take your loved one for a haircut or just meet the desire for a ride in the car.  My response would sometimes be, "I don't have time for this, I could do it much faster on my own" but other times I was much more patient and enjoyed the company.  If I believe God's Word (and I do), I need to 'count it ALL joy'.  I think of caregiving in terms of raising children.  When you are in the midst of it, you think it will never end but when it is over, you may wish you had more time!  

Our world is changing faster and faster around us but we as caregivers may feel isolated and 'stuck'.  Remember, this is November, a month of Thanksgiving but also an opportunity to 'Count it all JOY' because we are coming closer and closer to heaven.  Treasure every moment, give thanks for even the trials, God is ever present and abundantly able to sustain us.  This is a busy month, I challenge all who read this to pray for each other and encourage every caregiver you know in their journey!