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Syndicated Columns

Caregiver should draw on spiritual comfort

Posted August 12, 2006

Q. My parents are in the winter of their lives. How can I support them emotionally and spiritually? -- M.B., Boynton Beach

A. The best way to support your parents is to educate yourself. Modern technology and medical science keep us living longer. The result is that caregiving has become the fastest-growing unpaid profession in America. It has a profound impact on families.

Beth Witrogen McLeod, author of Caregiving: The Spiritual Journey of Love, Loss and Renewal, writes, "Caregiving is an emotional roller coaster that can leave a person exhausted, bewildered and dislodged, wondering how he or she can feel so helpless in a period so supposedly grown up."

A noted speaker on caregiving issues, South Floridian Gary Barg is founder and editor-in-chief of Today's Caregiver. He also established, the original online caregiver community. I recommend that you familiarize yourself with this Web site and take advantage of the support that is offered through articles, chat rooms and celebrity stories.

It is wise for you to decrease your stress, organize your time, seek support, and balance mind, body, work and your own family. Learning how to set limits and control your own frustration will help you serve your parents.

French writer Nicolas Chamfort said, "Man arrives as a novice at each stage of his life." You and your parents are at a new phase. Draw upon your spiritual practices to bring you comfort and guide you.

Your loving thoughts and positive encouragement are the gift you give your parents.

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