Encouragement for the Caregiver

When someone is sick or enduring a long convalescence, they usually receive many cards.  But often their caregivers don’t get any encouragement -- and they really need it!  Being a caregiver is a 24/7 job filled with stress and unending responsibilities.  

You can encourage a caregiver by sending a card such as “As you go through this.”  Resist the urge to offer advice. People going through difficult times sometimes dread opening the mailbox for fear it contains a flood of unsolicited suggestions from well-meaning friends – advice on the latest nutritional supplement, counsel on what helped their third cousin living in another state, or exhaustive sermons on how there must be hidden sin in their lives.

Enough already!  Unless you are one of Job’s friends, who offered more hurt than help, concentrate your efforts on providing a pat on the back and a word of encouragement.

You can say something such as, “I know you’re going through a difficult time right now.  I’m so touched to see how well you’re caring for Uncle Henry, and I believe the Lord is pleased.  I’m praying that the words of Psalm 34:19 are very real to you.”

Other Scriptures that promise the Lord’s unfailing presence and support during times of trial and loneliness are Isaiah 41:17, Psalm 102:17, John 16:33, Psalm 22:24, Exodus 3:7, Psalm 34:19, and Psalm 126:5-6.

If you live near the caregiver, you could also offer to pick up groceries, drop off dinner, or run an errand that would be a blessing.  Don’t write, “Let me know if you need help,” but be specific:  “Next Saturday we’re making lasagna, and I’d like to drop off some for you.”  Finally, don’t forget to pray for the caregiver.

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