That’s just the problem. society and Christian TV has learned how to use every aspect of life, and turn it into a money-making opportunity.
The story-line, and the content is very carefully worded, air-brushed, sterilized and choreographed to get the most out of the broadcast. Author’s use this “cut and paste” method to make their books appealing, with the emphasis on an upbeat ending. They want you to purchase their next book.
The intentions for these programs and books are good, but as one who worked in health care for over 30 years, they lack authenticity. Much is omitted to make the subject matter “palatable” to the public, and send a heart-warming message that “God loves you”, and “everything will work out”.
The reality for many in nursing home care facilities:
Many elderly live in isolation, some who have long ago been abandoned by family members, or do not have any family; and live out their lives never seeing a visitor. I’m saying this from first hand experience.
Some live in abusive environments, and suffer from the affects of the abuses; broken limbs, black eyes, over-medicated, and more. I could share things that break my heart, but will not. Neglect, abuse, and brutality is an every day occurrence for some of the most vulnerable; young and old alike, behind closed doors. Sometimes we see the end result of these abusive situations on the news, after the abused is dead.
Many very good caregivers never tell the full scope of their exhaustion, stress, and what they endure daily. If they did, they know many would not believe it; or care.
If a visit to some of the nursing home facilities was made unannounced, especially on a weekend, it would be an eye opening experience. Just walk the corridors, look into the rooms, and pay attention. Watch the employees, and listen to them.
People learn to wear masks, and put up a good front. But if you are discerning, you can see through the smoke-screen and see the reality of a situation.
There are wonderful health-care facilities, and good loving home care environments. But, the reality is that there are also some that aren’t.
When I was doing this, sometimes an aide would come in and pretend to be very surprised and say “Oh, I was just on my way in here to take care of your Mom, you didn’t have to do this.” I would do the best I could to keep my composure. I knew very well what the staff had spent their day doing; goofing off, and gossiping the day away.
There were many times I’d drive home with gut-wrenching guilt, because I could not take care of her myself at home anymore, because her diabetes had become too serious, and her feet needed doctor’s care every day. For many years I had taken care of other people’s mother’s right up to their deaths, but now I was helpless to do the same for my own. I was in free-fall myself. I had lost my husband to heart disease, sold our home, his business, and mine; and didn’t know when I was going to hit bottom.
But, God did give me the privilege of being there my mother’s last two days on this earth. I walked into her room late afternoon the day after Easter in 2008. My brother was with her, he told me she was very bad, I already could see she was. As he left to go home, we looked at each other and I said; “I won’t be home tonight, I will stay with her from now on.” For the last two days I closed her door, and took care of her; only the nurses came in to give needed medications, and check her vitals. I would not allow people to look into her room, or anyone to make any remarks of disrespect. I took care of her personal needs to the end; including making sure her body was bathed after God took her.
He answered my prayer that I would be with her, and she would die with dignity.
Many caregivers can identify with these kinds of situations.
Yes, God does care, He is with us in the worst of these situations; but at the time, it can seem He is out of reach, unconcerned with our plight, and silent. In these times; it is all one can do sometimes to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and keep going. During these times, I clung to Him; also in silence.
I’ve heard scathing criticism from well known preachers and teachers who say this should not be the plight of any Christian walking rightly with God, there must be something wrong with your faith. I will only say this; read the book of Job, (especially the accounts of his three miserable comforters), and read the accounts of Paul’s sufferings, and what he tells us about it. Then go on your merry way. At least muster up enough compassion to leave those in these situations in silence without heaping further suffering on them.
They are targets for scammers, drug addicts who break into their homes, and rob them of their medications, their money, at times attack them physically leaving them brutally harmed or even killed.
Sometimes they are also exploited and abused sexually. I find this the most deplorable, and despicable act anyone could imagine.
Most nursing homes and senior centers are excellent in their care, and support their seniors very well. But, the problem of neglect and abuse does exist in some. An attentive eye can see those who are victims of abuse.
SIGNS TO LOOK FOR:
1. Bruises on the face and body-black eyes, black and blue on the arms especially. Frequent bruises on the same person. Broken bones.
2. A senior who seems asleep a lot, slumped in a wheelchair for long periods of time.
3. Long periods of silence; unresponsive; if this is someone who has usually been active and vocal, who becomes despondent.
4. Expressions of fear-of being spoken to, or touched.
If you serve as a pastor or teacher in an adult class, and have elders in your church, or have a nursing home ministry; it would be a good idea to take notice of them, and watch for signs of abuse.
Below are some helpful sites that will help identify the signs and resources to help in this area.