This prayer says it all. We caregivers of faith pray. We pray when we get up in the morning, all day long, and throughout the restless nights. We pray for our loved one and our much-needed strength, courage, and patience. We couldn’t get through the day without knowing God is with us, guiding us, and providing all we need.
My friend, Paul, stitched this meaningful prayer for me on behalf of those I’ve helped through my writings and presentations. I’m very grateful for the countless hours he invested in it, as well as the cost of materials and framing. As you can see, his workmanship is exquisite and so tastefully done in the Alzheimer’s color of purple.
Paul cared for his own beloved wife, Michelle, until she recently passed. He knows first-hand of the relentless challenges we face while caring for our loved ones with memory loss. This prayer is his as well as mine and hundreds of thousands of others.
Statistics show that women far outnumber men as caregivers. But I’ve met many compassionate men who care for their spouses and partners. Like Paul, they do an excellent job of tenderly attending to their loved ones’ needs.
Isolation is one of the side-effects of caring for someone with dementia. Particularly as a spouse or partner, our world becomes smaller as our loved one’s needs increase. We are occupied with their 24/7 care and have few opportunities to socialize.
Even when our loved ones are moved to memory care homes, we remain extensively involved as their spouse and power of attorney. We don’t quite fit with any groups outside of the family. We are married, but we are alone. It’s awkward to go out with other couples as well as singles.
I suspect male spousal caregivers are even more isolated than female ones. Women encounter many other women caregivers to call, text, or occasionally join for a meal. The men have fewer contacts who can identify with their concerns and to commiserate with.
Reach out to your caregiving friends. Your friendship, support, and prayers are the fuel we need to continue this journey.
A Caregiver’s Prayer
Heavenly Father, help me better understand and believe I can do what you ask me to do. Forgive me for times, even now, when I question your judgment.
As I go about the many daily tasks of caregiving, give me energy.
As I watch my loved one oh-so-slowly walk across the room, give me strength.
As I answer his repeated question just one more time, give me patience.
As I look for solutions to whatever is the most recent concern, give me wisdom.
As I reminisce with him about the “good old days,” give me a moment of laughter.
As I get to know my loved one in a new way, seeing both his strength and frailty, give me joy.
As I sit beside my loved one’s bed waiting for his pain medication to take effect, give me comfort.
Lighten my burden, answer my prayer, and give me strength to do what so often seems impossible.
Give me a quiet place to rest when I need it and a quieting of my anxieties when I’m there.
Change my attitude from a tired, frustrated and angry caregiver to the loving and compassionate one I want to be.
Remain my constant companion as I face the challenges of caregiving.
And when my job is through and it’s time for me to let go,
Help me remember he is leaving my loving arms to enter your eternal embrace.
(For more information on Alzheimer’s disease, see my Facebook page Navigating Alzheimer’s and my book, Navigating Alzheimer’s. 12 Truths about Caring for Your Loved One, available from Amazon.com, ACTA Publications, and my website. If you’ve read this book, I’d greatly appreciate it if you wrote a review.)