Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12
Easy right? After all she’s my mom (or dad). I love her. I can be all these things. Sometimes the one you love the most is the one you show the least patience or kindness too. You know, no matter what they love you. You are doing your best, aren’t you? We are dearly loved by our God, so are our parents-even at their most difficult. They deserve to be dearly loved by us. I did not remind myself often enough that my mom was unable to control doing what exasperated me the most. I needed to show more compassion, more kindness and indeed to be more gentle.
My mom suffered from dementia caused by a stroke and Parkinson’s. Quite a combination. Her dementia made explaining things to her very difficult. The way she perceived every day tasks completely changed. She no longer had any understanding of even simple things she needed to do. Even her taste in food changed. What she loved one day, she no longer liked on another. As both the dementia and Parkinson’s worsened, quite a bit of patience was needed. Brushing her teeth, brushing her hair, dressing-all of these tasks could be difficult as she had difficulty following instructions. One of the hardest things for her was taking a shower. Parkinson’s made it difficult for her to lift her foot the inch or so it took for her to get in the shower. She also had trouble with her balance and she became very afraid to get in to the shower. There was a seat in the shower, but she did not feel secure on it. She would clutch my arm in fear making it hard to hold her steady. She needed to be showered. How were we going to be able to do what was needed and yet at the same time keep her safe and unafraid. My husband and I desired so much to care for mom as God would want us to. We wanted to love her as God loved her. We wanted to take care of the needs she had.
One way you show compassion is by studying and researching a particular need. Our middle daughter’s husband is an Occupational Therapist. During a visit to our house he studied the issue we had. Being a very compassionate young man he was determined to find a solution to our need. After quite a few measurements and quite a bit of research he found the perfect solution. He knew “Grandma’s” needs. He had often done therapy on her to help with discomfort and swelling in her lower limbs. He knew what she would be able, or not able to do. He found the best solution possible to alleviate her fear of being in the shower. I am putting a link at the bottom of this blog for the specific shower chair that he found for us. It was not just any shower chair. It slid from the floor just outside the shower into the shower itself. It had a seat belt of sorts that mom was happy to have us put on. All we needed was to have her hold on to the arms of the chair and we could gently slide her in and out of the shower. As she was in a sitting position she was able to lift her feet with a little help over the lip of the shower. It was wonderful! Mom felt secure in the shower and was no longer afraid. I am sure that if this is a need you have , this shower chair will be perfect. Daily tasks become so much easier on the caregiver and your loved one when you have the tools you need. I would like after much thinking to make this blog a bit more practical . I hope that it is helpful to your needs.
May our God and Father richly bless the work of your hands.