Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Monday, April 24, 2017

Today's Scripture

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5–6 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

If you are caring for an aging loved one (or one who is sick or disabled), you most likely find yourself looking for some answers. Today’s world offers more alternatives than ever before. This week we will look at two major areas of concern: living environment and care choices.

You may be dealing with questions like these:

  • I don’t believe my dad is safe to drive, but he won’t admit it. I’m concerned that my dad, an innocent pedestrian, or another driver might be injured, but what can I do?
  • On my last visit with my parents, I could see they were not functioning well on their own. They seem to be getting their medications confused. Mom even left the stove burner on and forgot about it. They won’t move, and I live too far away to help much. What are my options?
  • My mom is still living alone. Her health is declining, and she has been diagnosed with dementia. She really should not be left alone, but I need to continue working full time. What are my alternatives for providing care for her?

This week we will briefly address two of these areas of concern:

Living environment: a place where a person physically lives. Some living environments include care as part of the arrangement (for example, assisted living facilities and nursing care centers).

Care options: programs and services that help people with day-to-day needs. Care can be provided in various living environments including a private residence, home healthcare, retirement community, hospital, rehabilitation center, or nursing home. 

Consider this … 

Help is available. Research sources of community and medical help. Get input from another caregiver. If your loved one is competent, explore alternatives with him or her and, of course, with other family members.

Above all, seek God’s guidance. He cares. We all need his wisdom and guidance. Read today’s scripture again. Don’t try to make these decisions on your own. Trust him. Seek his will . . . and he will guide you. 

Prayer

Lord, I am facing some major decisions concerning my loved one. I can’t do this on my own. Please show me what to do. In Jesus’ name . . .

These thoughts were drawn from …


Caregiving: Caring for Aging Parents by Charles Puchta. The purpose of this curriculum is to provide hope and direction to those concerned about the health and well-being of aging parents or an ill spouse or relative. We address predominate issues most families face. Each session is designed to discuss a specific area of concern such as the purpose of a caregiver or end-of-life planning. It will become clear to participants that the Bible provides encouragement and direction to help them through this caregiving journey. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


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©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Today's Scripture

“The prudent carefully consider their steps.” (Proverbs 14:15 NLT)

Thoughts for Today
 
Evaluating and selecting a living environment for your loved one, whether short term or long term, is a major decision. To determine the best alternative, begin by examining current and expected needs. Consider questions like these:

  • What is unsatisfactory about the current arrangement?
  • What changes would best address those issues?
  • Can they be addressed without a move? How?
  • If a move is needed, would a family residence or a care facility be more suitable for our situation?
  • If a facility, what level of care would best meet the needs? Independent living with help available as needed? Assisted living? Nursing home?

As today’s scripture says, consider your steps carefully. Do your homework! Get on Google. Explore the differences in the various types of facilities. Talk to people you know who have had someone in a care facility. Talk to people you know in the caregiving or medical fields. Discuss with other family members. And, of course, discuss what you are learning with your loved one if she or he is able—and really listen to the response.

Consider This ...

When you have chosen the type of environment needed, start your research again. If you have determined your loved one can still live in a residence, explore ways to address the current unsatisfactory issues in that residence. Learn about medical alert tools, ways to make the physical environment more friendly to your loved one’s physical needs, home healthcare . . . and other possible solutions.

If you have decided a care facility would be more appropriate, begin comparing those in your area. Make a list of must-haves and would-like-to-haves. Research the facilities online. Again, talk to people who may be familiar with any of them. Ask to see the facilities’ inspection reports. Visit unexpectedly at different times of the day or night. Most of them would be happy for you to come for a meal. If your loved one is able, be sure to include him or her in that.

Consider your steps carefully. Listen to your loved one. Do your homework. And above all, pray for guidance. 

Prayer

Father, so many things to consider. Help me learn truth as I research. Help me be sensitive to my loved one’s desires and needs. And, above all, help me be sensitive to your leading. In Jesus’ name . . .

These thoughts were drawn from …


Caregiving: Caring for Aging Parents by Charles Puchta. The purpose of this curriculum is to provide hope and direction to those concerned about the health and well-being of aging parents or an ill spouse or relative. We address predominate issues most families face. Each session is designed to discuss a specific area of concern such as the purpose of a caregiver or end-of-life planning. It will become clear to participants that the Bible provides encouragement and direction to help them through this caregiving journey. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


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Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Today's Scripture

“My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding.” (Proverbs 2:1-3 NLT)

Thoughts for Today 

Whether caregiving is being provided by a family member, friend, or care professional, try to keep a right perspective on the following three P’s.

Purpose. A natural tendency of caregivers is to over care for a loved one. Whenever possible, encourage your parents (or other loved ones) to complete tasks on their own. Help only when necessary. Resist completing a task on their behalf even though you may be able to do it more easily or quickly.

Provide. Provide appropriate devices that enable your parents to maintain their mobility and independence (like a cane, walker, wheelchair, hearing and vision aids, and dentures).

Preserve. Always provide care in a manner that preserves your parents’ dignity. The frustration and humiliation people often face because of losing ability and independence can be discouraging. Allowing your parents’ choices and participation in their care will help preserve their dignity.

Consider This ...

Making choices that honor your loved ones and help them maintain their dignity is not always easy. We can get so focused on fixing things, putting out fires, and surviving the day-to-day challenges of caregiving that we quickly lose our sensitivity to our love one’s emotional needs.

The best perspective and priorities are those that please God. And the best way to keep those in balance is to immerse our life in a relationship with Christ. The right choices are more clear when we are studying God’s Word, listening to the voice of God’s Spirit, and staying in close touch with God’s people. 

Prayer

Father, I need your help with my perspective and priorities. Help me be more sensitive to my loved one’s needs for dignity and encouragement. In Jesus’ name . . .

These thoughts were drawn from …


Caregiving: Caring for Aging Parents by Charles Puchta. The purpose of this curriculum is to provide hope and direction to those concerned about the health and well-being of aging parents or an ill spouse or relative. We address predominate issues most families face. Each session is designed to discuss a specific area of concern such as the purpose of a caregiver or end-of-life planning. It will become clear to participants that the Bible provides encouragement and direction to help them through this caregiving journey. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


Living Free Facebook Community
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©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Today's Scripture

“Form your purpose by asking for counsel, then carry it out using all the help you can get.” (Proverbs 20:18 MSG)

Thoughts for Today
 
Caregiving usually comes on us gradually—giving a little help here and there, gradually moving toward more full-time care. Because of the gradual onset, we may be tempted just to “wing it” as we go. However, as in every important undertaking, it is important to develop a plan that will help us do the best for our parents or any loved one we are caring for.

One of the first steps in developing a care plan is becoming familiar with our loved one’s current limitations and understanding any medical diagnoses and the overall prognosis. Then we need to consider questions like these:

  • What specific care or help is needed—both now and in the near future?
  • What family members are available to serve as caregivers?
  • What family members have special skills or training that could help?
  • Who in the family will share the caregiving responsibility and who will take on the primary role?
  • What are the designated tasks and responsibilities for each person?
  • What outside services should we use? 

Consider This ...

Perhaps you are undertaking all this on your own. Give some thought to the responsibilities for your situation and who can provide the needed assistance. If it ever seems as though you are doing all the work, ask your siblings or other family members for assistance. Quite often, people less active in the caregiving have no idea how much time and effort someone is spending providing care and support.

If this is the case with your family, try this. Create a list of all the things you do weekly and share it with your family. Point out tasks you need help with, point out responsibilities that do not require physical presence, and ask for help.

In situations where your family is unable to provide the needed physical care, make sure you understand the care options available in your area.

Prayer

Father, give me wisdom as I work on a plan for caring for my loved one. Guide me to wise counsel. And help me reach out to other family members for help. Open their eyes to the need. In Jesus’ name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …


Caregiving: Caring for Aging Parents by Charles Puchta. The purpose of this curriculum is to provide hope and direction to those concerned about the health and well-being of aging parents or an ill spouse or relative. We address predominate issues most families face. Each session is designed to discuss a specific area of concern such as the purpose of a caregiver or end-of-life planning. It will become clear to participants that the Bible provides encouragement and direction to help them through this caregiving journey. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Friday, April 28, 2017

Today's Scripture

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” (James 1:5-7 NIV)

Thoughts for Today 

We should never make caregiving decisions lightly. When we need wisdom, we need to ask God. He is never annoyed when we come to him in faith to ask for wisdom. As today’s scripture promises, he gives to us generously.

George Müller was a Christian pastor whose life spanned most of the nineteenth century. He was known for his close walk with Christ and his desire to follow God’s will. He lived what he taught.

God used Müller to provide excellent care for many thousands of orphans, most of whom had been terribly neglected. He depended totally on God’s supernatural provision. Although he never solicited any funds, during his lifetime the equivalent of $120 million (in today’s dollars) were donated to his work. Read more on The George Müller Foundation website. 

Consider This ...

As caregivers, we can learn much from Müller’s instruction on how to listen to God’s leading when making decisions:

  1. I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter.
  2. Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If I do so, I make myself liable to great delusions.
  3. I seek the will of the Spirit through, or in connection with, the Word of God.
  4. Next, I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God’s will in connection with His Word and Spirit.
  5. I ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me aright.
  6. Thus, through prayer to God, the study of the Word, and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge.

Prayer

Father, help me learn from George Müller’s example. Help me believe and not doubt. Help me always commit to your will . . . your plan . . . your timing. In Jesus’ name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …


Caregiving: Caring for Aging Parents by Charles Puchta. The purpose of this curriculum is to provide hope and direction to those concerned about the health and well-being of aging parents or an ill spouse or relative. We address predominate issues most families face. Each session is designed to discuss a specific area of concern such as the purpose of a caregiver or end-of-life planning. It will become clear to participants that the Bible provides encouragement and direction to help them through this caregiving journey. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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