A Center for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet reports that about 73% of caregivers in a survey said prayer helps them cope. A recent, helpful volume is A Year of Grace: 365 Reflections for Caregivers, by Laraine Bennett (Our Sunday Visitor). But besides prayer, these people need direct outside assistance. Here’s where the parishes come in.Share
The literature on this subject repeatedly makes the point that caregivers need regular time off—a couple of hours to go out for lunch, take in a movie, maybe just sit in the park. To make that possible, why couldn’t the local parish run a modest community service program recruiting volunteers to go into homes—either on an as-needed basis or regularly—in order to spell the regular caregivers in tending their disabled or aged charges?
Some parishes probably already do something along these lines. Others easily could. Many have retired parishioners in good health and with time on their hands who are looking for something worthwhile to do. With a little encouragement and coordination from the parish, this could be it. (Read more.)