The Gift of Dignity

Senior woman drinking water

Diligent hands bring wealth.—PROVERBS 10:4 NIV

When Sarah’s mother came home from the hospital, Sarah waited on her hand and foot.

Whenever Mother tried to do anything for herself, Sarah discouraged her. “Mom, you need to rest—let me do it.” Besides, Sarah knew she could do it in half the time.

Oddly, the older woman’s recovery took much longer than doctors said it would. Even worse, Sarah’s mother struggled with depression throughout.

When caring for loved ones, it can be tempting to do everything for them—even when they could do many of those
things for themselves. We may be seeking efficiency, or perhaps we’re trying to avoid guilt feelings for making a sick person do something we could be doing for them. But there are often tasks our patients can, and should, do for themselves.

Giving people manageable but meaningful tasks can aid their recovery by giving them a sense of value and worth. It can help them maintain their dignity at an undignified time in life.

Are there some duties your loved one could be doing for him or herself today? Give the gift of dignity to your loved ones by sensitively allowing them to care for their own needs.

Today's Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I pray that I won’t do something that would be better for my loved one to do by him- or herself. Help me to remember how difficult it can be to accept the help of others, and help me to look for ways to give dignity to a loved one I am caring for.

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