Giving Thanks for Caregivers


One More Reason to Give Thanks in November


Now that our national election season is finally over (We can give thanks for that), we can turn our attention to the upcoming holidays.  Traditionally, November is the month we turn our collective gaze heavenward to thank the Almighty for the blessings we enjoy.  We are truly a blessed people and we need to acknowledge the One from whom all blessings flow.  Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays; it means family, food, and, yes, football in our home.  The Lord has given us a great family and we enjoy being together for this special day.


There is, however, another reason to give thanks this November. The month of November is also “National Family Caregivers Month.”  There is a large segment of people in our country that are caring for a family member on a daily basis.  They are the unsung heroes that, without compensation or fanfare, take care of the daily needs of a loved one.  They meet the needs of someone they love without any specialized training or much help most of the time.  They organize medications, schedule doctor’s appointments, cook meals and tend to their loved one’s personal hygiene, as well as, taking care of their other responsibilities, such as work, other family members, and household duties.


These soldiers continue on, driven by the love for their family member; most times neglecting their own personal needs.  They forge ahead, not realizing the amount of stress that is on them, and because they are so busy, many times their own health suffers in the long run.  Having cared for our son with special needs for over 28 years, my wife, Joann, and I know all too well the stress that comes with being a caregiver.  It’s not that we would have had it any other way, but the stress is real for those who are taking care of a person they love dearly.


 Recently I came across a website for Caregiver Action Network;  I wish I had known about it many years ago.  This website is a place where caregivers can go to get good advice, resources, and participate in a forum with others that have the same experience.  Caregiver Action Network’s theme for National Family Caregivers Month is: “Take Care to Give Care.”  The main point being that caregivers need to be sure to take care of themselves in the midst of their busy schedule, we can’t be at our best for our loved ones if we allow ourselves to get run down or depressed.  This is great advice for those who are caught up in the busyness of caregiving.


I just wanted to say thank you to all of the caregivers that are out there doing the work daily.  Most people will have no idea that this is your month.  There will be no parades and no days off work (wouldn’t that be nice!), just heartfelt appreciation for what you do.  You may never get a word of gratitude from the ones you care for, but today, I want to say, “Thanks.  May God bless you in all that you do.” 


John Ashley, Pastor of Antrim Baptist Church Byron, MI

Living In SPITE Of Ministries