Dedicated Caregivers

April 8, 2016
by Joel Jongkind

Leviticus 19:32 – Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord. (NIV)

Some time ago here in southern Ontario, there was a television report about people in a nursing home being abused and/or mistreated by members of the staff. There were pictures of one elderly lady being tossed into her chair and of another with bruises on her face and arms. Family members were upset, and some staff members were accused of elder abuse.

My wife and I have been volunteers at the local Long Term Care Centre for many years now. My wife feeds a couple of residents once a week, takes some of them to recreational activities, and is involved in other activities. My involvement is limited to some pastoral visiting, holding a Bible class twice a month, and leading in worship a number of times each year. In our local facility, there are more than 50 volunteers who go there on a regular basis.

As a consequence, we know what goes on in our local facility. We have never seen anyone being mistreated in any way. Every time we go there, we see the staff looking after the residents in a compassionate way. We are aware that sometimes, the job is tedious and some of the residents can be demanding. I'm sure that there are times when the staff members get discouraged, but we see most of them doing their job with joy, care, and compassion. Skeptics could say, "Well, after all, that is their job; that's what they get paid for." But it does take a lot of dedication.

The volunteers spend hours doing all kinds of jobs and taking part in all kinds of activities: worship, Bible class, special services, a Sunday afternoon coffee shop for residents and their families, making music, or spending time with the residents. They do it mostly for the good of the residents, not for their own glory.

Romans 15:1 – We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (NKJV)

Proverbs 14:31 – He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but he who honors Him has mercy on the needy. (NKJV)

Hebrews 13:16 – But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (NKJV)

I have come to know a number of the residents quite well through my church-related activities, and the residents really appreciate the efforts of the volunteers. I would encourage all who have the time and the ability to spend some time at your local long term care facility.

Matthew 25:40 – And the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." (NKJV)

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for all those people who work and volunteer in the various long term care facilities. We ask that You would bless them and strengthen them. We also pray for the residents that You will comfort them in their declining years. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Joel.


    May God bless you for your kindness to so many.


    Thank you Joel, for this wonderful reminder. Blessings.


    Thanks for your positive spin. Those who work with the elderly are a special breed, indeed.


    God bless you for your work! Volunteers can completely change the climate of a care facility from that of an institution to that of a family home.
    Well done, and well written.
    Blessings.


    Amen dear friend, thanks for your encouraging message this morning!!
    Matthew 25:40 – And the King will answer and say to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (NKJV)
    Agreed!!


    It happened years ago while I in a hospital was a patient in a room with an elderly gentleman who neither speak or walk unassited and the sides of his bed was kept up. I got to know his needs and would buzz the nurses station when ever he needed something, but especially to go to the bathroom. He was always co-operative and appeared content as one might expect. One morning a nurse came in to shave him. He had a good stubble and it was obvious the razor was as dull. The old man made motions that it was hurting, but nurse continued. Finally having enough he angrily pushed her away. I said the razor was dull, but from then on when he had his bathroom needs I was told he was considered hostile and it was ok because he was diapered. I often think of how demeaning it was for the old gentleman.


    Great devotion this morning. Thank you. We are in a small town where we too have a nursing home. And I am there quite often. The caregivers are incredible! One day I took note of 7 different interactions between a paid worker and a resident. Interactions which were not necessary and yet these caregivers have it in their heart to be like that. Compassionate, caring, wonderful! And we need to remember to tell these caregivers on an ongoing basis what a wonderful job they are doing. I do believe they need to be called to do this type of work because it is not easy!
    Thanks again for your good words this morning. I think I will print your devotion out and give it to one of the managers next time I am over.
    May God continue to bless you as you share His love with others.
    (Ont.)


    Dear friend,
    I am sure you are aware that there are exceptions to your findings. My mother was in a LTC (Long Term Care) facility for a few years and I had the need to report her treatment by a PSW (Personal Service Worker). She was bullied and abused in front of relatives that were visiting. She was roughly treated. I did not report it initially because I thought perhaps it was just a bad day for the PSW.
    I did eventually have to report the PSW. They told me that this treatment of a resident was not acceptable. Apparently my mother’s treatment was not an exception for this PSW. I felt badly about this but had to protect my 94 year old mother who was sweet and always agreeable. We would never have known if we had not seen it with our own eyes. As a result, I often wondered about the residents that did not have caring family members visiting.
    I note W5 is having another episode on LTC this weekend – abuse by people with criminal records. We don’t like to see these things on TV but it is good for us so that we can always check on our loved ones and be sure they are being well cared for.
    Please do not assume abuse never happens. It is not something that regularly happens but it does, perhaps even more often than we would like to admit.
    I know this is an exceptions as my mother had some wonderful PSW’s and after that situation was corrected was well cared for and loved by wonderful men and women.
    Thank you for your caring of our loved ones in nursing homes and for your message of today.
    Blessings.


    Thank you for this devotional. My first nursing job was at a long term facility in northern Wisconsin, many years later I have amazing memories of this special group. Thank you for volunteering, the staff is eternally grateful.


    Good Afternoon Joel:
    Your Devotional was interesting, but the first paragraph would cause us to wonder what really goes on behind closed doors in some of the Nursing Homes the world over. There is no doubt in my mind the families in southern Ontario, who found problems with the caliber of treatment and nursing care their loved ones were receiving was troublesome to them and I complement them for taking action to clear things up by speaking out for their aged parents and demanding the abuse and mistreatment be stopped, if it did prevail.
    Too often we stand by and allow unjust conduct towards our youth and our aged parents, friends and loved ones. Over the years I have seen it often, and now that I am one of the aged. The sad part is, it is not the ones who can still make their way around and still able to have a good social time that are being mistreated, ignored and belittled, but it is the dear old lady or gentleman who is basically confined to their room and is unable to attend these activities that are made to feel worthless alone, and maybe receives unjust words and acts of aggressive behavior – like the lady you spoke about. Someone is guilty for these unjust actd, but who???? The bruises got there somehow…..Enough said. –
    You seem to have a very well organized and caring Nursing Home in your area, and you and your dear wife are to be complimented on the pastoral visiting and comfort, I am sure, you provide for many.
    And I am also sure most Nursing Homes in Canada are indeed wonderful caring places, I have had the pleasure of working in one and marveled at the comfort, joy and pleasure provided for the residents there.
    You are correct, God does want us to be good to people in all walks of life and His Word reveals to us so very clearly in Matthew 25:40 “If we inasmuch show kindness to the least of His children/adults we also show kindness to him”.
    This was a thought provoking message reminding us to pray for those who care for our aged and infirmed daily. It is not an easy task at times, but then there are times when it is a great, great spot to work.
    Blessings for your wonderful devotionals, God will bless you.
    Thank you.


    Dear Joel,
    A month last year and found people doing just what you say — and was thankful.
    My slooow-to-heal hip plus arthritis gave me pains for which I received two cortisone shots. I got back home and rid of the pain meds.
    May God continue to bless you and your wife mightily in the work you do.
    Keep writing.


    Lovely! I have forwarded this to one who works in a long term care facility. She will appreciate it as whenever she speaks of her work and the people she serves it is with a smile. She obviously loves her job and the residents. They are all her friends!


    I realize that your agenda is to share the Good News and I think that is so important for the residents who often do not hear it.
    Blessings to you in your work.

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