Helping The Aged

September 17, 2018
by Joel Jongkind

Matthew 25:40 – I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. (NIV)

At one point some years ago, there were about 85 volunteers at our local Long Term Care Centre who went there on a regular basis to help out, mostly to assist those residents who like to be involved in the programs, but are not able to manage on their own. Some of the volunteers are there to be physically involved, while others come to visit, to help in hymn sings, or to assist in spiritual talks and the weekly worship service.

But over the years, many of the volunteers have reached the age where they can't help out any more. Now in this day and age, many younger people have to work until they reach retirement age, and when they do retire, they want to spend time with their families. The result is that the number of volunteers at the local nursing home is now down to about 40 or so.

There is also the problem that not all of us are able to relate to older people in various states of disability. I read an article about this very subject, which stated, "Looking after the aged has never been a popular pastime." Not too many people are interested in how the aged spent their younger years so many decades ago.

The Bible is a great source of information as to how people lived centuries ago, and aging was a problem at the time of Jesus as well. As He was preparing His disciples to go out and preach the gospel, He told them that there would be tough times ahead of them. Particularly, He told strong, young Peter that things would change for him, too:

John 21:18 – I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go. (NIV)

Jesus told Peter, and us, that as we get older, we might not be able to dress ourselves or go where we want to go. We might be taken to do things in which we have no interest at all. There may come a time when we are totally dependent upon others to look after our every need.

In these days when people are living so much longer, it is good to know that there are many opportunities to volunteer in long term care centres to look after the residents' needs, both physical and spiritual.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for the words of Scripture in which Jesus reminded His followers that they would not always be able to look after themselves. We thank You for all who are involved in this important work, and we pray that more Christians will volunteer to help out. We offer this prayer in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the insight and challenge, Joel.


    Thanks for a good reminder today Joel.
    Blessings.


    Amen. Let us pray for the caretakers that still have their loved ones at home and need help as well.


    Joel, this is another very appropriate and meaningful devotional. Each day I am becoming more familiar with the aging process and thank the Lord daily for the gift of good health.


    Thanks Joel for sharing this devotional with us. As a Senior, I am grateful for each day God has given me. Some days are better than others, but all of them are better than being totally dependent upon others. Blessings.


    Dear Joel,
    Thank you very much for the very helpful devotional about helping the aged. I pray that God will help people to discern how to be appropriately helpful.
    Keep writing for ‘sake.


    Dear Joel
    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.
    Serving as Chaplain for a long by term care facility the scripture from John 21 crosses my mind often. The people I serve were once vibrant and have so many stories to share. In today’s disposable society we sometimes miss the opportunity to learn of experiences first hand from those who have lived a full life.
    It is my honour to serve them.
    Blessings to you and yours.


    When my parents were in a residence from 1984 to 1992, they had about 100 volunteers. As none of their children or grandchildren lived in that area, we ended up going weekends. We were asked to be there at mealtime. The problem was I would be given four to help including my mother, who wanted us to herself. She had had strokes so she could no longer speak, but she sure could grunt in a way that we all understood: “You are my visitor!” Some volunteers became residents and needed help themselves. I do not know what the care is like there now, but it was excellent in those years. The staff and volunteers worked hard.


    I have a brother in Residential Care and a sister in Assisted Living, both disabled and over 80. Elderly people want rides to get to church Sunday and for midweek fellowship. Even 10 AM Church may be too early. Most Sunday afternoons there is no church service or hymn sing. Staff do not help with hearing aids so many elderly people give up using them. Even if poor and subsidized they to have to pay for their own TV, telephone, hair cuts, foot care, and sometimes incontinence supplies, physiotherapy and other things. There are interesting activities on the weekly recreation schedule, but attendance is poor because a staff person or a volunteer is needed to remind them to attend. Staff do not have time to walk with them so they let them go alone or they push them in wheel chairs, and so they lose ability to walk. Relatives often live far away and have busy lives. I cry out for better service. I am over 90 still living at home without a car. A friend helps. I do get minimum help. What a blessing!
    Thanks for caring and trying to help in effective ways.


    Thank you for your devotional Pastor Joel, Helping the Aged. You gave us much to seriously ponder. Thank you.

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