“I would rather be dead than stuck in here."
These were the bone-chilling words my friend’s mom blurted out in exasperation mid-May. Due to orders from the Medical Officer of Health, the severe restrictions regarding outings and social gatherings are affecting her mental and physical health. She is trying to care for her husband, who has dementia, in the confines of a small room in their lodge. The family had been exceptionally good at continually connecting with them, but the rules mandated by the government are brutally isolating. They are not allowed to even go out for a drive, which her husband asks to do, again and again.
“All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning,” Psalm 73:14 are words that probably describe how many of our seniors are feeling.
I doubt when you are reading this on June 12, 2020, the restrictions on the seniors lodges will be lifted. Stephen Ministries, a program previously offered at Foothills, was named after St. Stephen and based on “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” ( Galatians 6:2). We had a passion for bringing Christ’s love and care to people during a time of need and I beseech you to prayerfully consider how you could reach out and care for this vulnerable population.
Ways to reach out include:
-calling and talking to a senior that you know
-sending a card or letter to brighten their day
-calling a seniors facility near you and asking to speak to the activities coordinator and seeing how you can help
-educating yourself about dementia and caregiving stress. www.alzheimercalgary.ca has lots of valuable information
-praying for them and with them.
Kind Father, I pray for all seniors as they endure the challenges that COVID-19 brings. I pray for your peace to surround them and calm their fears. I smiled when I read about Barzillai, described as a very old man, and King David saying, “And anything you desire from me, I will do for you.” “The king kissed Barzillai and gave him his blessing.”
Hear our seniors’ cries for help and pour out your protective love. Stir the hearts of your people into action. Bless the elderly and keep them, be gracious unto them, turn and shine your face towards them and give them your peace.
In Jesus’ name,
Our former Parish Nurse who still shepherds all kinds of people