A Tough Decision

March 21, 2011
by Rosemary Hagedorn

Not too long ago, my uncle passed away. He had been suffering from Parkinson's disease and dementia for a few years, but it was the last week of his life on this earth that was very hard for his family.

He had no choice in getting Parkinson's or dementia, but signs of these two diseases were slowly starting to show themselves in his behaviour and speech. In the latter time, holding a cup without spilling it became very challenging. Talking to someone and trying to stay on the same subject also became a challenge, because most of the time, my uncle just seemed to stare either straight ahead or downwards. It became more difficult for him even to get up from a sitting position without falling. And then, he fell and fractured his hip.

It was at this point that my aunt and the family had to make some very difficult decisions about whether to keep him at home or put him in a nursing home or palliative care hospital. It became physically and mentally impossible for my aunt to look after my uncle twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. She made the tough decision to have him placed into a palliative care hospital. It was there that my uncle passed away after three days.

It is very important to realize that whatever decisions are made under such circumstances are no reflection on our commitment to our loved one. Neither should such decisions ever be made out of a sense of guilt.

God will provide us with the strength and the courage to make a decision to let our loved one go to a hospital, a nursing home, or a palliative care facility. When that time comes, the important thing to remember is that God is with us in whatever decision we make.

Psalm 37:39 – But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble. (NASB)

Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (NASB)

Matthew 28:20b – And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (NASB)

Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, sometimes we don't understand why bad things happen to our loved ones, and we ask, "Why?" Help the researchers to find a cure for cancer, AIDS, Parkinson's, dementia, and all the other diseases that are so prevalent in today's society. Amen.

About the author:

Rosemary Hagedorn <rosyhagedorn@gmail.com>
Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada

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