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.

  • Thumb 555 photo 1409286862
Thumb 350 photo 1409547204

An Unlikely Caregiver

As young adults, we think we have our lives all planned out, and then He sends us down paths that we had never intended to explore. One of those paths for our family has been caring for adult relatives.

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1409289542

When We Are All Guests, And Never Home

For three years, my family and I struggled with the feeling that that we were always guests and never home. In actuality, we had entered Grandparent Season.

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1438029929

Dear Caregiver...

Maybe you’re repeating yourself for the thirteenth time, heading out to a doctor’s appointment, answering yet another urgent phone call....

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1453496049

What Shall We Do About Mother?

Marcia Washburn shares her experiences caring for four adult relatives in her home. We believe our readers will find these insights helpful as they consider how to honor their aging parents.

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1454737293

A Grand Homecoming

For time immemorial and across cultures it was expected that several generations of families would live with and care for each other.

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1468364172

The Questions You Can’t Answer

What started as a typical visit to your elderly mother, quickly introduces you to a whole new world of responsibilities and decisions.

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1475625163

But I Want to Live in My Own House!

What should you do when your parent(s) can no longer live safely in their own home, but refuse to move?

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1479159256

Eldercare: Down and Dirty, Part 1.

We faced blow-out diapers, milk stains, projectile vomiting, and more with our babies. But what about when an elder comes, not just to visit, but to live with us?

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1480636423

Christmas Tips for Caregivers

I once estimated that during December I added 60-80 hours of additional work to my already busy life as a wife and homeschool mom.

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1484285236

Practical Tips for Handling Your Elder’s Laundry

There are times when I think my washer works as hard as I do. I remember having a breakdown one difficult, post-partum day following the birth of our fifth son.

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1486173570

Tax Advice for Caregivers

When you bring an elder into your home, often the last thing you are thinking about is the tax implications.

Read more

Book Review: Family Squeeze

Get ready for a good laugh and to be encouraged by Phil Callaway’s book Family Squeeze: Tales of Hope and Hilarity for a Sandwiched Generation.

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1489511967

Honor as the Priority

It’s taken me a long time to learn what God desires of us in biblically honoring our fathers. As a little boy I may have understood the meaning of obedience...

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1491523953

Gimme a Break!

It is estimated that caregivers provide 40-100 hours of care per week for their loved ones. Those who work outside of the home average forty hours of caregiving (like a second full time job!)

Read more

Book Review: The Hedge People by Louise Carey

Delightful, humorous memoir by a missionary to Guatemala who cared for her father-in-law for 2½ years.

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1494955121

When the Caregiver Flies the Coop

Anyone who has cared for another person for any length of time soon realizes the need for a break.

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1497657517

Out and About with Your Loved One

It can be a lot of work to take an older person with you. Think about what was necessary when you took your young children with you to the store or out to eat.

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1500070110

"What’s for Dinner?" - Planning Your Elderly Loved Ones Meal's

Eating is one of the few joys that many seniors can still look forward to each day, so consider how you can make meals special. Try to serve foods of many colors on her plate.

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1503684764

A Game Changer: Using Music in Caregiving

As caregivers we often have so many tasks calling our name that it is easy to become overwhelmed. But bringing music into your home can yield benefits far beyond the minimal time spent initiating it.

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1513821101

Dealing with Dementia - Part 1: Early Signs

The newspapers and media are full of stories about Alzheimer’s and how it will impact the country over the next several decades as Baby Boomers age.

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1513822155

Dealing With Dementia - Part 2

Among the biggest challenges in caring for a person with dementia are the handling of money and addressing emotional issues.

Read more
Thumb 350 photo 1513881598

How to have “The Talk” with Your Parents

Americans tend to ignore thoughts of death as much as possible. We hire professionals to care for the bodies of the deceased. We use euphemisms in place of the word died.

Read more

Recent Posts

Thumb 350 photo 1473114257

Caring for Elders Who Live in Their Own Home

Some of us live close enough to our parents to check in on them regularly. Others have the challenge of distance to deal with. Either way, there are many ways you can assist your aging parents: gathering necessary legal documents (see August 2016 newsletter for more on this), assembling a Family Notebook1, and providing emotional support.

September 05, 2016 by Marcia Washburn

Thumb 350 photo 1442027908

Ministering as a Family: Christian Family Eldercare

Todd Strawser presents: Ministering as a Family: Christian Family Eldercare

Thumb 350 photo 1422423691

Video: Honoring Our Parents

Watch as the Barber family describes their experience in eldercare and what it means to honor your parents.

Helpful Resources