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Compassion For Caregivers at Christmas

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
December 10, 2021 3:30 am

Compassion For Caregivers at Christmas

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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Thank you for plugging into this Family Life News Podcast, streaming issues-driven, family-focused news. This is Faith Under Fire.

Each Thursday on Family Life, we give voice to religious battlegrounds in this nation. I'm your host, Tracey Lynn, with us today, caregiver expert Peter Rosenberger. First of all, Peter, would you briefly tell us about Gracie and how you have filled the roles of both husband and caregiver? Well, 38 years ago, last month, my wife had a horrific accident when she was a 17-year-old freshman at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. And I met her a couple years after that. She had come back from that. She had been recuperating and done pretty well. She had a pretty significant limp and a lot of scars on her lower legs, which took the brunt of it, but just a drop-dead, gorgeous, beautiful woman. And then she opened her mouth to sing, and I knew I was hooked for the rest of my life.

I just didn't know what it meant to fall in love with a woman with a broken body and what that was going to entail for either of us. And the surgeries just kept mounting. We were able to have children.

The doctor said, Look, if you guys are going to have them, you need to have them when you're young. But it had a toll on her, and she ended up giving up both of her legs, one after each child was born. And to date, as of September of this year, she's had her 81st operation, and she's got a pretty big one coming up next year. Wow. So this has been a long journey. Over 100 doctors have treated her in over a dozen hospitals and six or seven different insurance companies. I've had to change around a lot over the years, but I've been her sole caregiver since I said I do, and then I did.

So that's more than 35 years now. Wow. And it says a lot about you and the demand that you have become. I have my moments. I'm the wily coyote of caregivers. I've had a lot of animals dropped on my head, and I've made about every kind of mistake you can make. But I've learned a few things along the way.

Wow. And we're looking forward to hearing about what you've learned and how we can learn from you. Peter, December is a particularly busy month with added stressors for those that serve. How can we be a blessing to caregivers we know and to the individuals they care for? Well, be very specific when you ask somebody what you could do to help. A lot of times people would say, well, let me know if there's something I can do to help. Well, now I've got to think of something for you to do, and then I've got to work up the courage to ask you, and then I've got to hope you're going to do it. And then I've got to hope you're going to do it well.

So don't put caregivers in that situation. Just do simple things like, would it be helpful to you if I brought you some milk? I'm at the grocery store. Is there something I could pick up for you? Can I get your car and go get the oil change or something and make sure that the tires are properly inflated and rotated and balanced?

If you've got a single mom with a special needs child, when is a good time for her to have a flat tire? You know, there are all kinds of little things you can do. If the caregiver is frayed and tired and weary, I bet you their house and their car is as well. And so we can look for specific ways to help with that sort of thing. You know, gift cards for groceries, running to the dry cleaners, anything like that that you would think in the normal course of things.

Sometimes you can offer to sit with their loved one, but they may not feel comfortable that depending on the shape they're in. But there are always things you can do. Look, I'm doing some shopping today. Are there some gifts that you need me to pick up for you?

But be very specific when you do it. Those are wonderful ways to help a caregiver during this time of year. Yeah, very practical and very specific. Beyond having some boundaries for physical health, you know, like getting rest, you also feel strongly about mental, emotional, and spiritual health of caregivers. What advice do you have for each person who serves today, be it as a nurse, attendant, or custodian?

I believe that the battle for caregivers is not in the task. Yes, tasks are difficult. But I learned how to give injections to my wife years ago, and I haven't had to have a refresher course. Once you got it, you got it. I learned how to fight with insurance companies.

Once you got it, you got it. But where we struggle, it's part of the human condition, is in the heart. And all of us struggle with the same kinds of things. Fear, isolation, guilt, despair, resentment, frustration, weariness. Caregivers happen to do it on an amplified basis. I mean, it's like a wall of noise sometimes. So we deal with it relentlessly.

That's the bad news. The good news is, every bit of that is covered in Scripture. And that's where things start to make sense when somebody explains it in a way that caregivers can understand.

And I speak fluent caregiver. So now when you say, Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. Well, that valley could be a very long valley. But he assures us of his presence. And I was listening to a pastor friend of mine the other day talking to him when he was being examined by a committee to be ordained. And they said, Well, what Scripture would you use when you find somebody who suffers? And he said, Well, I tell you, I wouldn't use Romans 8-28, which is, All things work together for good to those who love God and called according to his purposes. That's a wonderful Scripture. But you don't want to appropriate that in the midst of craziness when somebody's going in a seizure or when there's so much pain and suffering and so forth going on.

You've got to be tempered on that. And the Scripture that comes to mind with me is Job 2-13, where Job's friend sat with him silent for seven days because I saw his suffering was great. It's okay for us to respect the trauma that other people are going through and just be silent with it.

We don't have to offer solutions because we don't have any. But what we can do is offer presence and be there with them and help them settle down by just having the assurance that someone is there with them, that somebody sees them in this and understand that they have a Savior. I'm not that Savior. And I always tell my listeners on the show, Just look down at your hands. If you don't see nail prints, this ain't yours to fix. So don't try to fix it, but you can be there with them. Thank you, Peter. That was a gift. And I have tears in my eyes.

I'm reminded, as you said, that He is the God who sees. Is there anything else you'd like to share with our listeners, maybe even for resources to go to and recommendations on having a support group? Because you can't do this alone. You can. And that's why I do a radio program and I have a podcast.

It's free, HopeForTheCaregiver.com. And I'd like to leave with this. This time of year, we're reminded of all these crystal songs and you'll see the word Immanuel in it. Well, that means God is with us.

Literally, I think it means God tabernacles with us. And He is with us in this. He sees this. He sees it specifically to that individual. He knows it. And He is redeeming all of this. We trust Him as He does it. And how do we know we trust Him?

Because of what He did on the cross. That's caregiver Peter Rosenberger. I'm Tracy Wayne, Family Life News. According to the latest figures from the CDC, approximately one million Americans are injured annually as a result of falling on ice and snow. I'm Peter Rosenberger, and as a caregiver for my wife for more than 35 years, I understand the importance of helping someone with a mobility impairment get in and out of the home safely, particularly in inclement weather. And that's why this winter I'm using Heat Track. They're snow and ice melting mats that you just plug in and they provide you a safe walkway to your garage, to your mailbox, to your deck, to your business. Whatever the need, Heat Track has a mat that will fit that need and make sure that you can get in safely during snow and ice. You don't have to plow. You don't have to shovel. And you don't have to worry about falling because you're walking on something that is safe and secure and dry. This winter, let's stay out of the emergency room.

Let's make sure we're safe. Go to HeatTrack.com. Put in the coupon code CAREGIVER for a special discount. At Christmastime or any time of the year, Heat Track makes a great gift. Go to HeatTrack.com. Coupon code CAREGIVER.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-10 12:05:51 / 2023-07-10 12:09:54 / 4

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