The Best Medicine

Woman caretaker holding seniors hands

Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.—PSALM 41:1 (NIV)

My cell phone vibrated on my nightstand and sent my heart racing. Was the hospital staff calling to say something horrible had happened to Mom? But it wasn’t a nurse or doctor; it was my ninety-two-year old mother calling me from her hospital room, at 3:00 a.m.!

Before I could answer, the call went to voicemail. My husband, Chris, and I listened to her incoherent message. Through choking sobs, she said how much she disliked the staff and wasn’t going to stay. “You need to come down here right now and get me out of here!” she yelled. “Or I’ll call 911!”

I called the nursing station directly. “She’s fine,” the nurse said. “Not very happy, but fine.” After being assured that all was well, I went back to sleep. But when I arrived that next afternoon, all was not well. My legally blind mother hadn’t eaten all day because she couldn’t see the food they’d delivered to her bedside. Without her hearing aids, she couldn’t hear their instructions, and they weren’t taking the time to explain her treatment in a way she could understand.

After I firmly explained her communication needs to the staff, the nurses were better able to provide for her and Mom relaxed. I made a mental note to never again make any assumptions about my mother’s needs. I needed to be Mom’s advocate.

Today's Prayer:

Lord, help me to appreciate how scared and alone my mother must feel at times, and to always give her the benefit of the doubt.

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