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Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
July 10, 2023 1:58 pm


Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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What do you say to a caregiver?

How do you help a caregiver? I was talking to this billing agent at the doctor's office and said, how are you feeling? And she said, oh great It's Friday. And before I could catch myself, I said Friday means nothing to me. Every day is Monday. And I felt kind of ashamed of that and I'm sorry for that, but I realized that whole principle of every day is Monday. What that means for us as caregivers, we know that this is going to be a challenging day. And I wrote these one-minute chapters.

You literally could read them in one minute. And I'm really proud of this book. It's called A Minute for Caregivers, when every day feels like Monday. It's filled with bedrock principles that we as caregivers can lean on, that we can depend upon to get us to safety, where we can catch our breath, take a knee if we have to, and reorient our thinking and the weight that we carry on our shoulders. If you don't know what to say to a caregiver, don't worry about it.

I do. Give them this book. Welcome to Home for the Caregiver, here on American Family Radio.

This is Peter Roseburger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. More than 65 million Americans right now serve as a family caregiver. Then you add that around the world, and you're talking a vast, vast, vast number of people who are putting themselves between a chronically impaired loved one and even worse disaster. How do you help these people?

What does it look like? Why should we help them? These are all questions that we explore on this program. And we are so glad that you are with us. When you visit that site, you'll get all kinds of information, access to the podcast. It's a free podcast.

Written articles through my sub stack column that I do and other places that I write for. Everything's out there. Also my new book, which is called A Minute for Caregivers.

I hope you'll check it out. I want to lead off the program today with a conversation I actually forgot I had until somebody brought this back to my mind. This was well over eight, nine, ten years ago. I can't even actually remember the time frame, but a friend of mine called me up and his church was looking to take on a a woman in their church. It was a Sunday school class that wanted to adopt this woman, so to speak, who had two children and a husband with a medical condition. He had some type of neurological or brain impairment.

And this had been going on for five years and she was a school teacher who had children. I guess they were probably 12 and under. Two of them were anywhere from 8 to 12 year old.

I'm not totally sure of the numbers. I thought their desire was very noble and he started laying out the plan that they had, which was they were going to rotate turns to bring meals and rotate turns to go over there and clean her house. And I stopped him right then and I said, no, don't do that. And he was rather stunned. He was like, what do you mean? I said, do not do this. And he said, well, why not? And I said, I want you to help her.

And I think there are ways to do this. But if you start sending over Sunday school members to clean her house, you are up in her business and it's going to get really entangled and enmeshed. If you want to help her with housekeeping services, then hire a service and contract with the service to go and do that once a week or whatever. And that way you keep some good, healthy boundaries because you don't need Sunday school members going up there in her house and cleaning it. And then as to the meals, I said, don't do that either. He said, well, what do you mean? She's got two kids.

She works. I said, wait a minute, wait a minute. I'm a caregiver.

I have two kids. I, you know, I get this. I understand this. I am not unfamiliar with this scenario.

Okay. But here's, what's going to happen. The first night you bring a meal, it'll be a nice meal, be laid out, beautiful tray and well-prepared and everything else. Three weeks into this thing, it'll be dominoes and somebody will forget. And the kids will be sitting there at the table waiting for a meal. That's not going to come.

And then the mother has to go ahead and scramble to make macaroni and cheese and fish sticks. I said, don't do that. I said, don't do this. And again, he was perplexed. He said, well, what do we do?

And I said, well, that's a better question. I said, instead of having somebody in the Sunday school class prepare a meal every night or two or three nights a week, or however frequently you wanted to do this, instead look at alternative means of stocking her pantry and her refrigerator. And you can do that by either purchasing the groceries or calling up the grocery store, have them organize it.

And you guys pay for it, have a gift certificate, because the time grocery shopping and putting away groceries can be a bit challenging. And I said, I think that's a noble idea is to have everything stocked with things that she needs and uses and wants. And then she can cook the meals that best suit her family's needs at the time they need them.

Now you've got a service that is cleaning and they're professional, they're bonded. They get in, they get out, and the house is clean. So she knows she's got that. She can rely on that.

And then you've got a well-stocked pantry and a refrigerator so that she can cook and prepare meals. And I said, I cook. It's okay to do that. And every so often, maybe do a meal or something like that, but not on a regular basis, because this has been going on by your account.

And I was telling my friend this, you told me this has been going on for five years. Are you prepared to take that level of responsibility? And I had somebody, I was speaking at a church one time and I posed the question, I've been a caregiver for my wife. You guys know my story.

What would you do to help somebody like me? And one lady raised her hand and she said, I would, you know, offer to come and help clean the house. And I was very touched by that gift. That's a great gift, incredibly thoughtful.

But I looked at her and I said, ma'am, I cannot tell you how gracious that is, but I want to give you some caution here. I've been a caregiver. And at that point it was over 25 years. It's almost, almost 40 now. And I said, I've been a caregiver for a very long time.

This is 25 years at the time. I said, are you prepared for that level of commitment? She said, well, I didn't think about that.

I said, let's take a moment and let's unpack this. This is not an episodic event. This is not a surgery that one will recover from and go on and resume a healthy life. This is not a broken leg that you'll come back from. This is not a gallbladder removal. This is not anything that is episodic that one is expected to make a recovery from. This is a chronic impairment that most likely will not go away. And when you come along somebody and say, I want to bring meals and I want to clean your house. What's going to happen is, uh, you're going to grow weary, as Paul says, of doing good works.

It's too long-term. So you have to use a different strategy or a strategery as George W. Bush. No, he'd actually never said that. It was Will Ferrell from Saturday Night Live. Strategery. But Karl Rove had that over the side going in his office at the White House at the time, the Strategery Room.

I thought that was really funny. All right. I digress. You have to use some strategic, so I can't stop saying it, some strategery. You have to think about what are you doing here? What is the goal? The goal is to better equip the caregiver to do the tasks that are required. The goal is not to do the task for them. The goal is not to create another dependent.

We have that in our country. It's called an entitlement program where we have created a nation full of dependence of people who expect somebody to do something for them. I don't expect anybody to do anything for me.

I always welcome the help and here's what help looks like to me, if you want to help. And there are creative ways we could do this. For example, filling the pantry as opposed to making a meal or working out with the grocery store that they do the shopping and have it and sometimes it can be delivered. Sometimes you can go pick it up, whatever. There's all kinds of things and you don't necessarily have to pay for the groceries. I'm more than happy and capable of paying for my own groceries if maybe somebody can actually go pick them up. The stores will have personal shoppers that go through to you send them a list. You could do it online for most stores these days and they'll collect everything. They'll put it in the refrigerator there at the store or the freezer section if they need to and you pick it up.

During COVID, this became extremely streamlined. So there are ways that we could do this for these regular needs that people have. You could call and say, Hey, look, I'm at the grocery store. Do you need some milk? Do you need this? Or you could call and say, Hey, I'm swinging by the dry cleaners.

Can I pick something up for you? Those are all things that really help for the ongoing needs of food, housekeeping, all that kind of stuff. Offload that onto professional services that can do that sort of thing and you sponsor it.

If that's something you want to do for longterm. People don't think about this when they think of caregivers, that this thing could go on for a very, very long time. And so as somebody who wants to help a caregiver, are you prepared to allocate your resources over an indeterminate period of time that stretches beyond the foreseeable horizon?

I'm not saying you shouldn't help, but I say you need to think it through. You need to have some strategery when it comes to dealing with caregivers. And we're going to talk about that in the next segment. So don't go away. We've got more to go. This is Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger, and we'll be right back. What do you say to a caregiver?

How do you help a caregiver? I was talking to this billing agent at the doctor's office and I said, how are you feeling? And she said, Oh great, it's Friday. And before I can catch myself, I said, Friday means nothing to me. Every day is Monday. And I felt kind of ashamed of that.

And I'm sorry for that. But I realized that whole principle of every day is Monday. What that means for us as caregivers. We know that this is going to be a challenging day. And I wrote these one minute chapters that you literally could read them in one minute.

And I'm really proud of this book. It's called A Minute for Caregivers when every day feels like Monday. It's filled with bedrock principles that we as caregivers can lean on, that we can depend upon to get us to safety, where we can catch our breath, take a knee if we have to, and reorient our thinking and the weight that we carry on our shoulders. If you don't know what to say to a caregiver, don't worry about it. I do.

Give them this book. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver. I am Peter Rosenberger. Glad to have you with us. And again, while you're out there, take a look at all the things that we offer through that site.

Lots of different resources for family caregivers, certainly books, music, articles that I write in various publications. I just had a recent one through Tribune Media Services that was syndicated throughout their family of newspapers and so forth. And also my Substack column that I write and I have podcasts there as well. That's free. Right now there will be probably a subscriber fee down the road for that, but it'll be nominal. And I would love for you to be a part of that right now, particularly since it's free and the podcast is free as well.

You can see all of those things. Please take advantage of it. We're talking about ways to help a caregiver. And I referenced this friend of mine who his Sunday school class wanted to take on this family that had been dealing with a five-year medical problem. And they wanted to just go full tilt, go over there and start cleaning their home and buying them, I'll be bringing the meals and so forth. And I put the brakes on that because they are not going to stop getting hungry and the house will never stop requiring cleaning. So these are ongoing things that could stretch out for years. For five years, they'd already been dealing with this.

Now, in my case, I'm almost to 40 years. So this thing can go on for a long period of time. So what's the goal? Is the goal to just take them on and just do everything for them for the rest of this caregiving experience?

Or is the goal to what? And I've said, when I started this whole thing with caregivers, I said, it's great to bring somebody meal, but eventually somebody's got to learn how to cook. I didn't know how to cook. When I started this journey, Gracie laughs at me for that. She said, I had a hard time opening a can of green beans. And Gracie's a wonderful cook, but it's painful for her to stand on her prosthetic legs. She can't cook very easily from a wheelchair.

And while she was recovering from all these different surgeries, this started back in 95, when I started learning to cook. And I had some ladies at our church who were gracious and taught me how to cook. Not that men don't know how to cook because I've learned some things from Graham care. You may remember him as the galloping gourmet, and he's got all kinds of resources. He's been on this program, wonderful man.

And he's got all kinds of resources that you can get to teach you how to do these things. But somebody's got to learn how to cook. If you're going to be caregiving for somebody for any length of time, you can't do takeout all the time and not just cook, but cook in a heart healthy manner where you're not becoming morbidly obese because you're cooking a lot of fatty foods. And when you take meals to somebody's house, if you ever noticed a lot of it's involving casserole and heavy carbs and you know, all those kinds of things that, that could be detrimental to a family. And then you've got sometimes kid with special eating needs. They can't have peanuts or things such as that. So there's all kinds of different scenarios.

It's best to equip the caregiver to be more independent and to be more self-reliant and self-sufficient in their journey. Don't you think I serve Gracie better by being a better cook and being able to plan meals and to be able to go to the grocery store without looking like an idiot? There are a lot of comedians out there who make fun of guys in the way that we shop at the grocery store. But I, I can tell you, I shop well. I spend a lot of time with getting fresh produce. I try to do heart healthy things.

I do splurge on a few things, but I come home with staples with produce and fresh things. I know how to do these things. Don't you think Gracie is better served by that than to have somebody take us on and bring us meals all the time? I know how to clean, iron, wash clothes, vacuum, mop, clean the toilets, showers. Now I don't do it quite as bestidious as Gracie would always like for me to do. She is a very, very, very, uh, intense cleaner and organizer. She just doesn't have the physical ability to do it. That doesn't compromise her managerial skills.

That's a different story. But you ever watch Friends and Monica, one of the characters from Friends was known for her being a good cook. Being just over the top zealous and cleaning and Gracie's that way, but her body can't. So she has to rely on me and I've tried to learn how to do these things better. One of the things she's good at, but she's never liked to do.

And once she got hurt, she couldn't do it was to iron. But I find ironing very cathartic. You can kind of turn your mind off. I listened to a lot of lectures and teaching and so forth on my earbuds while I'm working. And it's a great thing to do while listening.

I've been going through all my theology classes and so forth, listening to them. And I get everything ironed and I will iron sheets and pillowcases and shirts, pants, everything. I do it all.

We also live a long, long, long ways away from the dry cleaners. And so you kind of have to learn how to do this all yourself. But the point of it is, is that strong, healthy, self-reliant, independent caregivers has to be the goal always.

It's certainly not possible all the time. I remember when I had a knee surgery a couple of years ago, and there were some wonderful people in the church who brought a meal. Well, that was wonderful. That's perfect because I was down for the count.

But if I have them do that, every time Gracie's down for the count, then we're dealing with a 40-year commitment. I was down just for a couple of weeks. Then I was able to get up and start moving around and taking care of business. So short-term help is always appreciated. Now on that subject, with meals and house cleaning, that's never going to end.

Never. Laundry, that doesn't end. That's perpetual. But there are certain things that you can do. But there are certain things that are episodic that churches and family and friends can help with that are incredibly meaningful and very helpful. One of those is the car. Look at the caregiver's car. If the caregiver looks worn down, I bet you the car is. So offer to take the car to the shop and get the tires rotated and balanced, get the oil changed. Just make sure everything's checked out. It's a great gift to give someone to say, look, I'd like to make sure that this mechanic that we use, we love them, they're great, that they go over your car with a fine-tooth comb.

Make sure the tires are OK. All that kind of stuff. Would you allow me to do that? That is a wonderful gift.

That is something that every Sunday school class could take on, because it's not an ongoing situation that you're going to have to do over the next 10 years. You know, once a year or once every six months or whatever, you know, just maintenance. And it doesn't have to be extremely expensive. Maybe there's nothing wrong, but it never hurts to look for things so that that person can budget out and plan for it. Another thing is the house. Maybe there's some painting that needs to be done.

Maybe there's some repair work. A handyman type service is always welcomed with, hey, do you have anything that's leaking or whatever that maybe we could take a look at? I've got a guy that we use.

We love him. I got a lady that helps with this sort of stuff. She's wonderful.

Can we send her over? And any projects that you need fixing? Maybe there's a step that's loose or something, you know, simple things. But it's a project and a project sometimes can overwhelm a caregiver because you have to set up, you have to find the right tools. I've had this conversation with Gracie before when she wants to take on a project.

I've said, whoa, whoa, whoa. If I'm going to take on this project, I need to have this block of time and I need to have everything ready to go so that I can start finished because it's very difficult to deal with the crisis du jour when you got paint or stain all over your hands and you're in the midst of a mess. OK, so those kinds of things can be extremely helpful. Not major house repair. I'm just talking about minor stuff. A window that's leaking that needs some caulk or a bathroom that maybe could use, you know, some appliance touch up or something around caulk around the bottom of the toilet or, you know, things such as that. Just make sure everything's working. Those are great, great ways to help a caregiver.

And lastly, well, not lastly, lastly for right now, then we'll maybe move on here. Finances, and I don't mean getting into their money and giving them money. I mean helping them better budget their their money and properly invest their money. I've had financial counselors on this program who stand ready at a moment's notice to help. And there are people out there that do that. There are accounting firms and so forth. And maybe that's something that the Sunday school class could do. Go to them and say, look, are you comfortable with your budget? Do you have everything you need to pay your taxes and be organized?

Would it be helpful if we gave you a gift certificate to this CPA? You know, that kind of thing. Not that you're going to get into their business because you want to keep boundaries. You really don't want to get up in people's personal business like that. Give them some agency, but give them some proper professional care. And so I think that if you know of a good accountant who that you find is incredibly helpful and reliable, I can't think of any family that's dealing with a long term medical issue that doesn't need a good accountant. And just to help them or stay organized, make sure things are filed on time, make sure they're not missing opportunities to get money back. Do you know that mileage is tax deductible for medical trips? Are you keeping track of that?

Do you have somebody who can help advise you on that? Those are great ways to help a family caregiver. And I would encourage any church, any Sunday school class, any group, any family, any friend to look at those ways. Sustainability is the key. We hear that word a lot in our culture, in our society, about sustainable energy and all that kind of stuff.

What about sustainable caregivers? How would you help somebody like me? You guys know my story. I mean, I'm doing this now for a long, long time.

Do I need help? Well, yeah. Well, what does that look like? Well, it looks like the things I just told you about.

Making sure that those boxes are checked. Are you okay? May not need it. May not require it at that moment, but it never hurts to have people asking the right questions and pointing you in the better, healthier places. So if somebody says, I want to bring you a meal, well, thank you.

That's great. But I got a neighbor when she goes to the big grocery stores in Bozeman, which are 60 miles away from us. We have a fine grocery store here. And I love going down there and they're great people, but there's things that I can't get at this store that I could get in a bigger town or Walmart or whatever.

And so if they're going or there's a script that I have to get from a specialty pharmacy for Gracie. And if they're going, I say, hey, if you pick it up, it's paid for, would you mind bringing it back to me? I've met them at the post office with stuff.

The post office is 10 miles down the mountain at the crossroads. So that's a good meeting place. But those are kind of things that help. It just saves me a trip.

It saves me the headache. Those are just some of the ways to help a caregiver. And I'll come up with more in future shows and future times, but I thought I'd start off with that today. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is hope for the caregiver. We'll be right back. We'll be right back. And I'm standing with hope. Welcome back to hope for the caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. Okay, I want to just recap for just a second. Episodic care versus perpetual care. Episodic care is, hey, I got a mechanic.

I'd love to take a look at your car, make sure everything's okay. That's an episode. The car doesn't need to be fixed every single day from here on out. Okay, but meals do. Laundry does.

House cleaning does. Money coming in does, but managing that money does not. I don't need to talk to my accountant every single day.

But I do need to make sure I have money coming in every single day. So you see the difference and see the approach that we take. So when you're dealing with a long-term care situation like mine, like most of you all in this audience, your approach has to be tailored to the circumstances.

Now, I want to shift from all of that. Well, I think we got that. Okay, so we got that. If you want to help a caregiver think about those two tracks of thought, perpetual versus episodic, and set the boundaries of what needs to happen. Yada, yada, yada.

You got it. Okay, we don't need to belabor that. But I want to shift for just a moment here to a different kind of perpetual care. And that is the perpetual care of your soul.

Because that is not a one and done. This is the crux of everything I do on this program. Everything I write, everything I speak about is always, how do you help a caregiver dig deep and be sustained in their abilities to care for someone else emotionally, spiritually, and physically?

What does that look like? And part of that is dealing with the mentality of the caregiver. Our mental shift gets whacked. If it hasn't for you yet, give it time.

It will. If you're only a week into this, you're not going to track with what I'm saying. If you're a year into this, yeah, you're going to get what I'm talking about.

We're going to be singing from the same hymnal at that point. Okay, so it takes a toll on you on the way you look at life, the way you look at relationships, the way you look at God, the way you look at all these things. Your philosophical approach, your worldview is affected by long-term caring. Okay? Anybody tells you different?

They ain't been a caregiver long enough. But it does. It affects everything. It affects how you pray. It affects how you have a friendship. These are things that I spend a lot of time with because I've lived here for a long time.

I live in this place. And so the way I pick friendship, for example, what kind of friends do you think I would have in my life? Who are people that you would expect to see me be in close proximity as friends?

And it would be somebody that would have the following characteristics. First off, they're going to be sensitive to what Gracie and I deal with and recognize how stretched we are. And they're going to be cognizant of that. They're going to have that situational awareness of what's going on with us. The kind of people I'm going to have in my life as friends, they're going to be people who aren't freaked out by messy situations, things that don't get resolved or better.

Okay? If you got people like that in your life, long-term caregiving will weed them out. It'll just happen. You will not have long-term friends who can't handle messy situations. And they'll just kind of fade away.

That's just the way it works. Your relationships will change. I promise you they will change over time. And the way you pick friends are going to reflect that or the way people are involved in your life. And people that are negative, if you hang around four negative people, you'll be the fifth. You hang around five idiots, you'll be the sixth.

I mean that kind of thing. You are what you kind of hang around. And eventually with caregiving, you can't sustain this if you're going to be around a bunch of negative whiny people who are bitter at life and everything else. If you're around those kinds of people, perpetually, I promise you, you will go down into a very dark place. And so you'll find that those kinds of people will, there's no plateau. It's not a homeostasis kind of thing where, okay, I've reached this level and this is not, now everything's just going to stay the same. It doesn't work that way. Every day you're dealing with these issues of the kind of people you're around, the kind of thought processes you have, the world view you have. If you're not pushing forward and improving on who you are as a person, you're regressing. Okay? That's the way this works.

It doesn't just plateau out, okay, I'm good, I got this now. You know? Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul. I've got the rest.

I'll let you know. It doesn't work that way. It doesn't work that way in Christianity, in your Christian journey, and it doesn't work that way in caregiving.

It just does not. The term in Christianity is called sanctification. That is this process that God is sanctifying us.

He is whittling things out of our life, bringing things to the surface to be dealt with, taking us deeper into understanding maturity. Now, would you expect a Christian who purports to follow Christ to never improve in their Christian journey, to never become wiser, to never become more educated, to never become more discerning, to never behave better? Would you expect somebody who calls themself a Christian to never improve? I wouldn't. I don't see anything in Scripture that affirms that we, as believers, will just get our fire insurance and just live out a shallow life, shallow existence.

That, to me, seems an affront to everything that Scripture teaches. Being a caregiver is very much like that. Would you expect me to be better at what I do in caring for Gracie after all these decades of experience than I was when I first started?

If you go to my book, my new book is called A Minute for Caregivers, and in the first chapter, I'll give you an idea. There are only one-minute chapters, but it'll give you an idea of where I was when this thing first started. If you read the introduction, you'll see where I was years into it. But would you expect me to improve? Would you expect me to improve as a person? Well, yeah, because if I'm the same as I was when I started this journey, if I have no more skills than I did when I started, if I have no more wisdom or discernment or understanding than when I started, then what have I been doing all this time?

That's the whole point of this. We are going to grow as people. Now, the question is, are we going to grow in a healthier manner, or are we going to grow in a more destructive manner, because I've seen both?

And if we're going to grow in a healthier manner, what does that look like, and how do you help someone do that? If you're listening to this program, or if you've been listening for any reasonable amount of time, chances are you're a caregiver for a situation that is rather challenging. Do you need me as a host on this program, as somebody who has years and years and years of experience, do you need me to come up alongside you and say, there, there, I'm so sorry for you? Does that in any way help you?

No, no, it doesn't help. I mean, it's always nice to have people give you sympathy, but really, I mean, honestly, how much sympathy do we really crave? That's not what we're looking for as caregivers. You do this long enough, you'll realize that.

That's not what is driving this. What we want to know is we're safety. What we want to know as caregivers, from all the experience I've seen, is we're solid ground. Does anybody even see me? Am I even known? Am I worth something?

Do I have value? Or am I just the hired help, and I'm not even hired, I'm doing it for free, just because of commitment, duty, responsibility, and hopefully love. These are the things that go on in a caregiver's mind.

So when I think of perpetually helping a caregiver, I want to do for my fellow caregivers what I desire most of all for people to do for me, which is to point me to solid ground. Let me know that there is one who knows my name, that I'm not doing this anonymously. It felt that way for a lifetime. Now granted, I'm on the radio, and I do all the things that I do speaking in public, but for decades, the things that I did, nobody really knew. I have family members that are coming up to me now that have known me this whole journey. They're saying, I had no idea.

I had no idea. But that's still not what I'm looking for. What I'm looking for is that this has value that I have value.

And where do I go for that? Look at all the substitutes that the world offers, how you can self-realize this, and you can be important here by doing this and having this product or whatever. This is what the world offers. But what does scripture offer? Scripture says, I know you.

I know you. Look at the difference on the night that Jesus was betrayed. Look at the difference between Peter and Judas. Both of them, both of them turned on Jesus. And Jesus dismissed Judas. He said, go, do what you're going to do.

Do it quickly. And he said that it would have been better if he'd never been born. But what did he say to Peter? He said, Peter, Satan has asked for permission to sift you. But I have prayed for you. And when this is done, when you come through this, strengthen your brethren.

Every time I quote or read that passage in scripture, it just pierces all the way to my heart because I have been sifted. But my Savior prays for me. He prays for me. I know a lot of people pray for me. I know a lot of people in this audience pray for me.

But you know what? My Savior prays for me. He prays for you, too.

We have a great high priest who prays for us. And if you will go back and look in the scriptural account, when Jesus rose from the dead and he appeared to Mary in the garden, and he said, go tell my disciples. And then he added, and tell Peter. And tell Peter.

Do you have any idea what that does to me when I just read that because of my own name? Because he is a very personal Savior who knows you and he sees you. He sees you when you are falling apart. He sees you when you are swearing under your breath or out loud. He sees all of this. None of this escapes his eyes, what you're doing as a caregiver. This is safety for us.

This is an anchor point. This is solid ground to start with that principle of knowing that you have a Savior who knows you by name. He sees what you're doing. You have not been abandoned. This is not some kind of curse or punishment or penance. This is something that has value to him.

We're going to talk about that when we come back. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver. As a caregiver, think about all the legal documents you need, power of attorney, a will, living wills, and so many more. Then think about such things as disputes about medical bills. What if instead of shelling out hefty fees for a few days of legal help, you paid a monthly membership and got a law firm for life? Well, we're taking legal representation and making some revisions in the form of accessible, affordable, full-service coverage.

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Isn't it about time someone started advocating for you?, an independent associate. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberger. Glad to have you with us. I'm talking about sustainability for you and me as caregivers.

What does that even look like? And we've been addressing episodic care versus perpetual care. It started off with a friend of mine asking about his Sunday school class adopting a family that the woman was working. She had two children, and her husband had a chronic brain-type injury for five years. And they wanted to go over there and start bringing meals and to clean her house. And I thought, well, that's very gracious.

That's wonderful. How long are y'all going to do it? Is this going to be a perpetual thing or an episodic thing? How long are you guys going to do this?

It's been going on for five years, but this guy is not looking like it's going to get any better from the report they gave. So how long do you want to do this? What's the greater need that this woman has? And I kind of coached them through things that they could do alternatively. It's OK to bring a meal. I've been recipient of many meals over the years. It's OK to have somebody come over and help with stuff at the house. I've been recipient of that.

But if you're going to take them on for the duration of this, or you're just going to do this for a couple of weeks, OK. What have you accomplished at that point? What does that caregiver really need? And what they need is sustainability. And sustainability is perpetual care.

But not what we think. We don't just keep writing a check. That's what creates the entitlement mentality in this country right now where we have a bunch of dependents of people who don't want to work. Because it's not profitable for them to work. They're comfortable in the place that they're in. And they don't want to do anything different to that.

I've seen it over and over and over and over and over. I've seen people do all kinds of things to fudge on their taxes and their income so they don't have to report it so they can get more benefits from the government, yada, yada, yada. We know all this. So you don't want to create a bunch of dependents. You can't afford that. The nation's already broke. I mean, we're 30-something trillion dollars in debt and it doesn't show any signs of changing. We don't have leadership in Washington who are responsible stewards. But we have to be responsible stewards, regardless of what these people do. And being a responsible steward of a caregiver means thinking it through. What's the issue?

And there are certainly short-term things that need to be done and can be done. But I promise you, you teach somebody how to cook. And you've done something for them. I had to learn to cook. And I still am pushing myself to do it. For 4th of July, I made a strawberry shortcake, homemade shortcake from scratch, I might add. And my father-in-law asked for two servings.

He thought it was pretty good. So these are things that we have to think about as caregivers. What's the goal? Look at my situation, for example.

How would you help somebody like me? Would you want to come along and say, we need to go clean Peter's house? We're almost 40 years into this.

How long do you want to do this? Or do you want to teach Peter how to clean and equip Peter to be able to clean? We need to bring Peter meals.

Well, that's great. I appreciate it, but would it be better for Peter to be able to cook and do laundry and all the things that need to be done? And more importantly, what about Peter's heart? So when you start asking those kind of questions, now you're thinking more strategically for caregivers. So I ask about you.

How is your heart? Because if your heart is a mess, if it is just a dumpster fire filled with resentment and despair, what kind of decisions are you making in your business, in your relationships, taking care of things, being a good steward? I mean, look. Look at what's going on with Washington. They're not good stewards of our money because their hearts are messed up, filled with greed and avarice and all kinds of different things. Otherwise, they would be voting to have a balanced budget and be responsible managers of the people's trust, but they're not. So their hearts indicate how their policies are going to be.

I don't expect much out of them, but that's what they're doing. They're voting that way. Look at the votes. Look at what they do.

Look at who they nominate. You know, when you've got a Supreme Court justice that can't even identify in her hearing what a woman is, what kind of decisions do you think she's going to make from the bench? So if your heart's a mess, if you're not in a good place in your world view and everything else, what kind of decisions are you going to make as a caregiver? And I say to you that it starts there because I promise you I will make better financial decisions, better professional decisions, better caregiving decisions. If my heart is at peace with where God has me, to recognize that He knows my name, He sees me, He sees what I'm doing, and He has ordained for this to happen, and He invites me to trust Him.

That's a tall order, isn't it? To trust Him with this level of suffering. I had that conversation with Gracie just yesterday, but His promises are true. They're not going to fall apart on us. He swears by Himself, and you go back and look at Genesis 15, He swears by Himself that His covenant will be true to Abraham.

Go back and look at it. He doesn't swear by heaven or earth, the things that He created, He swears by Himself, by His own character, by who He is as deity, by His own deity. And we are grafted into that covenant with Abraham. We have that kind of promise. He cannot fail on that, and we can trust Him. We don't always like this, and we're certainly not getting all excited about the things that we have to watch as caregivers, but this is where we are. Now the question is, what are we going to do about it?

Are we going to trust Him? And if so, why? And I'm not asking you just to kind of nod your head along or respond to anything until you've examined it. Look at yourself. Ask yourself why.

Don't be afraid to ask why. Why should you trust this Savior? When you look at the devastation you see as a caregiver, why should you?

Where do you get this information from? Is it just because people tell you that at church or some guy on the radio telling you this? Examine your own heart. Ask yourself the hard questions. Why should I do this? What possible reason would I have to trust God as I look at the suffering that my loved one goes through? I look at Gracie's suffering, and I groan at times, and yet I trust Him.

Why? And I will tell you, for me, it always comes back to the cross. I told you I've been studying theology now for some time, and I've got a tutor, and I listen to lots and lots and lots of lectures on this while I'm doing. I was listening to several this morning while I was ironing. Yes, I ironed, and I'm very good at it, thank you very much.

We live a long ways away from a dry cleaner, 60 miles. So yeah, I ironed. And I quite truthfully like it, but it gives me chance to listen to these different teachings and so forth that I've been doing. And in my intense studies of theology that has been going on now for almost a year, and I've gone through an enormous amount of coursework, even though I'm not getting credit for it as far as college credit, I'm getting education, and that's what's most important. Here's what I've learned. Sin is a bigger problem than we think it is. And the cross is a bigger deal than we can ever imagine.

That's what I've learned. So why do I trust Him? Because the cross is a bigger deal than I could ever imagine. And my sin is a bigger problem than I ever considered. I'm not a sinner because I sin. I sin because I'm a sinner.

You understand the difference? I cannot not sin. I don't have the ability to not sin as an individual. Now I've been regenerated by Christ, and so I have that new nature in me, but I'll be warring with my old nature until He takes me home.

I will have to make amends and say I'm sorry and all of that is going to happen until He takes me home. I'm not condemned by my sin any longer. But make no mistake, we still live in a broken, fallen world where sin abounds. As Paul says in Romans 7, O wretched man that I am, who will save me from this body of death? Sin is a much bigger problem than we think it is. But then Paul goes on to say it is the man, Christ Jesus. And then that amazing verse in Romans 8.1, Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. That's how we know we trust Him as caregivers, as believers.

That's how we know. Because the cross is a bigger deal than we ever imagined. Once we anchor ourselves in that, then everything works out from there.

Where our decisions on finances, decisions on relationships, decisions on our own bitterness and what we deal with, all of that then becomes subject to that amazing law of the Spirit of life as Paul says in Romans 8.2. Because He's given us life. That is what sustains me as a caregiver now for 37 years. And to me that is hope for this caregiver. This is Peter Rozenberger. I appreciate so much of the time with you today.

You can see more about all that I'm talking about in my new book. It's called A Minute for Caregivers when every day feels like Monday.

We'll see you next time. You've heard me talk about Standing with Hope over the years. This is the prosthetic limb ministry that Gracie envisioned after losing both of her legs. Part of that outreach is our prosthetic limb recycling program. Did you know that prosthetic limbs can be recycled?

No kidding. There is a correctional facility in Arizona that helps us recycle prosthetic limbs. This facility is run by a group out of Nashville called CoreCivic. We met them over 11 years ago and they stepped in to help us with this recycling program of taking prostheses and you disassemble them. You take the knee, the foot, the pylon, the tube clamps, the adapters, the screws, the liners, the prosthetic socks, all these things we can reuse and inmates help us do it. Before CoreCivic came along, I was sitting on the floor at our house or out in the garage when we lived in Nashville and I had tools everywhere, limbs everywhere and feet, boxes of them and so forth.

I was doing all this myself and I'd make the kids help me and it got to be too much for me. I was very grateful that CoreCivic stepped up and said, look, we are always looking for faith-based programs that are interesting and that give inmates a sense of satisfaction and we'd love to be a part of this and that's what they're doing. You can see more about that at slash recycle. So please help us get the word out that we do recycle prosthetic limbs. We do arms as well, but the majority of amputations are lower limb and that's where the focus of Standing With Hope is and that's where Gracie's life is with her lower limb prostheses and she's used some of her own limbs in this outreach that she's recycled. I mean, she's been an amputee for over 30 years, so you go through a lot of legs and parts and other types of materials and you can reuse prosthetic socks and liners if they're in good shape. All of this helps give the gift that keeps on walking and it goes to this prison in Arizona where it's such an extraordinary ministry.

Think with that. Inmates volunteering for this, they want to do it and they've had amazing times with it and I've had very moving conversations with the inmates that work in this program. You can see, again, all of that at slash recycle. They're putting together a big shipment right now for us to ship over. We do this pretty regularly throughout the year as inventory rises and they need it badly in Ghana, so please go out to slash recycle and get the word out and help us do more. If you want to offset some of the shipping, you can always go to the giving page and be a part of what we're doing there. We're purchasing material in Ghana that they have to use that can't be recycled. We're shipping over stuff that can be and we're doing all of this to lift others up and to point them to Christ. That's the whole purpose of everything that we do and that is why Gracie and I continue to be standing with hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-10 18:07:09 / 2023-07-10 18:28:38 / 21

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