How can your church step in with easy, intentional ways to encourage your caregiving members? Ideas for both the pastor and groups within the church to provide support.
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Introduction: At some point, we’re all called to give care. Here are ideas about caring for the caregivers.
Caregivers that need encouragement:
- Long-term caretakers (need to stay with someone who is sick or has special needs)
- Single parents
- Parents with twins, triplets, or lots of little ones
- Grandparents raising their grandchildren
How do I notice caregivers that need care?
- As you visit or care for the people who are in need, notice those who are taking care.
- How long have they been there, taking care?
- How are they doing?
- Have they had breaks?
- Are they taking care of themselves?
- Are they eating?
- Are they getting rest?
Christian caregiving is unique because it allows us to minister to the spiritual needs of the caregivers, as well. Sometimes it’s hard for them to accept care, but remind them to let the body of Christ be the body of Christ and take care of them.
- Family member getting near death—be aware of the caregivers’ needs
- Feeling of despair in the caregivers—pray for their faith; pray with them; bring God’s Word to them
Try to get the caregivers away from the people in need to have a private, honest conversation and check how they are doing.
Easy-but-intentional ways to help caregivers:
- Give them time off
- Bring them flowers or send them a card
- Sit and talk to them
- Listen to their needs
- Take notes of special things they like and bring them something from that list for their birthday
- Help them take care of their own home (clean, shovel snow, mow lawns)
- Include them in your prayers; ask them for prayer requests
- Hug them
- Thank them
- Encourage them
- Look at the list of shut-ins and hospitalized people from your church. Next to each name, write the name(s) of the caregivers. Include them on your prayer list. Is there someone who could make sure the church is checking in with those caregivers regularly and looking for ways to help them?
- Think about families in your church that might not have a support system in place. Are there people in your church who could help out occasionally?