The First Caregiver, the Good Samaritan

Many of us face the decision about whether to place our loved one in a nursing or memory care facility. I made this decision after my husband, Ed, spent three months of anxiety-filled days and sleepless nights. He was totally confused and kept hearing voices that told him to go home. It was his childhood home and his mother and siblings he wanted to be with. Of course, they were long gone, but his mind was back in the 1950’s. All the medications Ed took still did not offer relief from his constant fretfulness. We could not keep going without some interventions from professionals. When I did finally admit that I could not give Ed the type of care he needed, I was still plagued by guilt and worry. This is when my friend and fellow caregiver shared this message about how we caregivers are like the Bible’s story of the Good Samaritan. Below is what she shared with me. Evelyn Weaver

But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds, and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:33-37

I have had many nights that I have not been able to sleep. Not all because I was upset or worried. I was thinking of all the caregivers and what they go through each and every day. Knowing that it never stops, my mind went to the Bible. There was my example of a caregiver. That is what we are, the Good Samaritans, showing God’s mercy. The Samaritan took care of the victim as long as he could and then paid the innkeeper to care for this person. So, whether we take care of our loved ones at home or put them in care of a nursing home, we are still in God’s eyes doing what is needed. Caregivers are the examples of good neighbors. This gave me comfort because we care for our loved ones, but this Samaritan took care of a stranger, that is what nursing homes do, take care of strangers. Maria King