August 27, 2014
“Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:32
“The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” Proverbs 16:31
The Word of God speaks of nothing less than the highest honor for our elderly. Unfortunately, because the Church and families have largely turned our beloved seniors over to others to be cared for, honor and dignity are in short supply. Ann Benton, in her book “If it’s not too much trouble,” lays out an all too common real life story happening all over our country right now.
“The old man propped up on pillows is suddenly overcome by the all too familiar griping pains. He needs a bedpan and he needs it quickly. He presses his buzzer for a nurse, but he is not optimistic. He presses it again and again with increasing urgency. He hangs on: no nurse. Tears roll down his cheeks as he feels the warm familiar softness oozing underneath him and the malodorous stench reaches his nostrils. The old man hangs his head in shame. He presses again and again. After ten minutes a nurse appears, with the what’s-all-the-fuss-about expression; she makes her assessment, sights, draws the curtain around the old man and scurries away, promising to be back. Three quarters of an hour passes before two nurses appear. They chatter to each other as they do what has to be done. He says he is very sorry. They tell him not to worry. But he does. They tell him it is all right. But it certainly is not from where he is sitting.”
There is better way: relationship-based, family- focused, Christ-centered, home environments, where eldercare thrives. We can do better.