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How to Be a Spiritual Caregiver

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16 ESV

The role of a caregiver is often taxing and time consuming. Caregiving itself can require individuals to wear a variety of hats such as a hairdresser, personal chef, housekeeper, chauffeur and secretary — often all on the same day.

It might seem overwhelming to consider adding another responsibility to the list if you're taking care of an elderly loved one. However, as a faith-based company, we believe that tending the spirit is just as vital for an individual's overall well-being as looking after their physical needs.

We know from experience that we are blessed and nourished as we give of ourselves and bless those around us. The body of Christ is called to build up one another (Ephesians 4:11-16), and we can trust God to provide the strength we need to follow His call.

If you aren't certain how to be a spiritual caregiver, the best way to begin is to pray and seek God's direction and wisdom. The Bible assures us that He is always willing to give counsel to those who ask (James 1:5, Psalm 32:8). You may also want to consider speaking with your pastor, Bible study leaders or friends you trust and to add these three tried-and-true spiritual activities to your caring plans.

Reading the Bible

Finding time to read the Bible consistently can be hard for a caregiver. But for a senior who struggles with vision or memory issues, the very act of reading can be nearly impossible.

However, setting aside time every day to read together for five minutes or to recite a few favorite memory verses can open the door to conversations about past memories and the chance to see the Bible through a different point of view. By learning side by side, you and your loved one can build a closer relationship with God and each other.

Singing and Worshiping

The use of music therapy in senior care is becoming more widespread and with good reason. Many medical journals and scientific studies have recorded its benefits such as stress reduction, improved speech and increased brain activity. Those who listen to music often experience less pain and feel more positive and fulfilled as well.

To bring these beneficial effects into your own loved one's life, create a songlist of their favorite hymns, sing praises with them or locate a Christian radio station such as K-Love that they can tune into regularly.

Praying Together

 A private prayer can be a good way to calm down when frustration or worry makes it hard to deal with unexpected moments throughout the day. However, prayer isn't just beneficial when coping with hardships. The act of saying grace at meal times or praying together before bed can be comforting.

When practiced as a group, it can help you establish a familiar routine with your family member, make you more sensitive to one another's thoughts and feelings and diffuse tension that may have built up as a result of differing opinions or irritations.