Caring for Parents and Relatives
Today more Christian families are choosing to care for parents and relatives at home. While many of today’s methods for eldercare come in the form of institutional homes and nameless caregivers, these facilities often lack the relationship, honor, and level of care that is presented in the Word of God. Each family is responsible to care for elderly parents or relatives:
- “But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God…but if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Tim 5:4, 8
- “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12
The collective eldercare method today of costly nursing homes often tears away inheritance quickly, sometimes resulting in Medicaid dependence. Sadly, while institutionalized, an estimated 50% of nursing home residents never have family visit, over 30% of nursing homes experience elder abuse, and the ratio of nurse aids to residents may exceed 1 to 20. While temporary seasons of life may exist for these facilities, increasing opportunities for children or grandchildren to provide care at home are available to families. Many families are now working to care for their parents directly, where seniors are in relationship, where one-on-one care exists, where the abundant wisdom of our elders is passed to the next generation, and where inheritance is preserved within the family.
As the Church we must consider how to best take care of our families within the lens of Scripture, and strive to optimize care to seniors in relational, family-oriented, honoring environments. Let us pick up the mantel of responsibly clearly laid out in Scripture and “repay” our parents while honoring God’s call.
At Christian Family Eldercare, our goal is to see families thrive in eldercare, bring biblical honor to our seniors, and ensure relationship-centered care is provided.