A Multitude of Counselors

Man encouraging a younger man

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. —PROVERBS 15:22 (NIV)

After my mother fell and broke her collarbone, she couldn’t remember falling or why she was in the hospital. My fears that she was suffering from dementia were finally confirmed.

At the rehabilitation facility, she became uncooperative. She yelled and called me horrible names. Nothing I said or did soothed her spirit. In fact, my presence only seemed to exacerbate her behavior. The staff had to restrain her.

I went home defeated and heartbroken. My daughter-in-law— a hospital nurse—offered advice. “Dementia patients often become more confused and difficult in a new environment, especially around family members. It’s sometimes better if the family stays away for a while, so the staff can treat the patient without disruption.” Mom’s rehab nurses agreed.

But wouldn’t staying away make me a horrible daughter? Would God approve of such behavior? I needed additional counsel. A close friend—a pastor’s wife and experienced social worker—confirmed the advice.

Staying away for several days gave me time to pray, put things in perspective and address a number of issues regarding Mom’s future needs. And it helped her calm down and settle into her new environment and schedule. I was grateful for my counselors who weren’t afraid to offer some tough, beneficial guidance.

Today's Prayer:

Thank you, Lord, for the wisdom of those with more experience than I have, for perspective that lights my way and relieves the pressures and confusion.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts