new short story collection. Out now!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Lifter

Nursing homes accommodate some very large and heavy residents who have mobility problems due to their size and various health complications. In some cases they have nothing much else to do besides eat so they can hardly be blamed for their obesity.

As well as being physically incapacitated, many residents of nursing homes also suffer varying degrees of mental impairment. The combined effects of old age on the mind and the body of these people means they require full time care. They need to be washed, changed, fed, given medication, and moved around. Only a few can successfully go to the toilet by themselves.

When a heavy resident has to be moved out of bed, the nurses are not allowed to do it alone. They must receive assistance from another nurse and together, use a piece of equipment called a lifter. It is designed to prevent injury to the backs of the nurses, and to remove the possibility of the resident being accidentally dropped.

Consider the situation these beautiful human beings, these children of God find themselves in, and realize that it could be you in the future. Think about the difficulty of caring for them. It is a tough job for nurses, requiring strength and stamina to do it well, and with compassion. And what of those people who care for elderly or infirm relatives in their own homes on a full, or even part time basis? Imagine the strain, the sacrifice. These carers carry an extraordinary weight of responsibility: a load which would crush most of us.

Who lifts the flagging spirits of these people? Who sustains and encourages them as they care for adults who have lived full lives only to return, in their twilight years, to a child like dependency on others?

People who give so much must also receive a lot. Otherwise how could they do it? They need a lifter too. In fact, they need, as we all do, The Lifter. His purpose is to make it possible for those who care to keep on caring, for those who love to keep on loving, and to remind all of us of our own frailty and dependence on Him.

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