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October 2017 - Caring for the Carer

I wonder how many people you know of, who are caring for a loved one, a partner, parent, grandparent or family member? It is an increasingly familiar situation as we live longer and debilitating diseases such as dementia become more common.

Naturally family members still wish to have their loved ones at home for as long as possible and care for them themselves, rather than have "strangers", albeit professionally trained, coming into the family home. More and more, the burden of care goes to the closest family member, perhaps geographically more than emotionally.

What can we do to help? I have not magic wand to wave or a quick fix solution, but as Dumbledore said in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light." Often in dark times it is hard to "turn on the light" ourselves, but what if someone else were to turn it on for you?

I talked about small acts of kindness in a previous article, and I wonder how Jesus was cared for during his lifetime? There is a passage in John's Gospel (12:3) when Mary cares for Jesus by wiping his feet with "a costly perfume". Perhaps this was all the care that Jesus needed, a human touch of love and reassurance, whilst the fragrance enhanced her actions.

Love can often be found in unexpected places but remember it has to start somewhere. Sometimes all you have to do is simply turn the light of your love on for someone else first.

Julie Wainwright

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