Thought For The Day 12/28/13

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Caring For The Caretaker

Post 1016

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Holding Hands with Elderly Patient

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Even if it’s a little thing, do something for those who have need of a man’s help, something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.  For, remember, you don’t live in a world all your own.  Your brothers are here too. 

Albert Schweitzer

http://www.quotegarden.com/helping.html

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I just discovered someone who is near to me is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, and I know of another family who has Hospice services for a loved one. Well as a former Hospice Nurse, I am well aware how difficult a task it is for those families who undertake this gift of love. That is why I am being led to re-post an older “Thought” with you all.

Mandy

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Until the moment you have cared for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease, it is impossible to fully understand how daunting and all-encompassing a mission this type of caretaking really is. My sister-in-law knows. Her father suffered from this disease. So does Dan’s aunt who looked at the face of Alzheimer’s Disease every time she looked in her husband’s eyes. Dan and I know, having volunteered to become the court appointed guardian of our uncle who was also struck down by this demon disease. It is not just an exhausting mission but it is also often a thankless one, as well.

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So often I wished that someone…. anyone…. would step in and give us some breathing room! It didn’t happen in time to benefit us but it got the wheels turning in my mind and I have come up with a list (aided by some ideas from AARP Magazine) of some perfect caretaker gifts. Now this idea is perhaps too late for this holiday season but maybe it’s time to think about how to help during the rest of the year, and not just during those special occasions!

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1. An empathic ear.

Sometimes we wish there was someone….anyone…..who will just take a moment with a warm cuppa, and sit with us and listen. No chiming in, no opinions, no second guessing the decisions we’ve made! Just being there and letting someone know that they are not alone matters…….A LOT!

~

2. Positive reinforcement.

How about telling those special people who carry the heavy load for caring for another that what they do matters and is important? Caretakers know that what they do is right but sometimes we think that others might not see it the same way! I know, that walking a mile in some pretty heavy moccasins, has given me a huge appreciation for everything someone who cares for another undertakes…. whether that someone is a baby, a dying person or someone with a chronic illness!

~

3. Practical help.

I remember the days people told me that I looked tired. I was tired. So is every new mother. So is every person who is caring for someone who is ill or dying! So how about offering that caretaker 2 hours to relax, shop, go bowling, or get a manicure! Just a brief moment where fun and enjoyment occupies the mind rather than worry! Or how about arranging for someone to come in and stay for a time, enabling you to take that friend out to dinner or for coffee and dessert!

~

4. Over the miles.

Not everyone that cares lives next door. My family was spread far and wide across these 50 great states. But a phone call connects hearts in an instant as does the mail. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t laugh at receiving a “Jokes for the John” book in the mail and while I am not a fan of flowers (allergies) there are many who would welcome the beauty of bringing the outdoors indoors! Or how about some chocolate dipped strawberries or pretzels, as a treat? These are little things, but they all say, “I care”!

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The things we do for those who give of themselves so selflessly need not be big. They need not be special. They need only provide a smile and remind them that they are being remembered as they travel through a time they would rather forget! Bringing a little joy into the life of someone is one of the greatest gifts we can bestow!

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“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. “Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 5:13-16

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

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About Mandy Bruscella

Mandy's Story: As a Registered Professional Nurse with Certification in a number of specialties including home care, I was afforded the opportunity of working closely with various Social Service Agencies in NY and NJ. ~ A lifelong Christian, I was ordained as a Presbyterian deacon in 1993 and, after relocating to SC in 2000, elected to become ordained as a non-denominational minister. ~ I established "MandysPath" Ministry in 2011. "MandysPath" Ministry is a member of Pacific Life Church, El Sobrante, CA, network of ministries. ~ I direct an outreach ministry in an alternative setting, providing spiritual care to a congregation of more than 500 people from around the world via the Internet. ~ As part of this outreach, I write a daily faith based blog. In March, 2012 I was asked to become a board member of Heroes For Children which is a non-profit foundation, established to assists the Guardian ad Litem program of Horry County, SC. Guardians ad Litem are a group of court appointed advocates who represent the best interests of children in Family Court proceedings involving allegations of abuse or neglect. Working closely with these men and women who make a difference in the lives of children, I completed training and have been sworn in to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of South Carolina . ~ I have been married since 1975 to a wonderful man, Daniel. I have a son Daniel and his wife Melissa who live in NYC. My daughter Sabrina and my grandson Landon live here in SC. ~ My father Harold continues to share his wisdom with me and is responsible for many of the ideas I write about!

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