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How to successfully care for aged parents, infirm family members

Cross-Sections of Delegates at the Ongoing 2023 'Exercise Patience' Regional Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses at Ota Assembly Hall, Ogun State

*Delegates at ongoing 2023 ‘Exercise Patience!’ Regional Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses, in Nigeria, have been encouraged to show patience with their infirm or elderly family members in four major areas for successful caregiving

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Caregiving for infirm or elderly family members can sometimes be stressful and frustrating, yet caregivers can be successful in doing so, delegates at the 2023 “Exercise Patience!” Regional Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been told.

A symposium with the theme, “With patience, put up with one another in love”, highlighted four key approaches to successful caregiving for infirm or elderly family members in love.

Speaking on the sub-theme, “Infirm or elderly family members”,  on Saturday at the Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Ota, Ogun State, Kerry Olumuyiwa of Pleasure Congregation, Lagos, listed and explained the secrets of successful caregiving for infirm or elderly family members.

Addressing over 4,000 delegates in the talk, the ordained minister stressed the importance of doing good and sharing their time and other useful resources with such family members.

Exercise patience, be peaceable with infirm family members

Quoting the Bible book of Hebrews 13: 16, Olumuyiwa encouraged delegates to remember  that “God is well-pleased with such sacrifices” on the part of caregivers.

He also said: “Caregivers need to exercise patience and be peaceable even when they are mistreated by infirm or elderly family members.”

The speaker further emphasised that some loved ones may use unkind words and fail to show appreciation for their genuine efforts at caring for them, and caregivers may feel frustrated in the process.

In a video dramatisation during the convention part, the delegates were asked to learn useful lessons from how one of the characters exercised patience with her aged mother despite the elderly woman’s unkind words to her when giving care.

Yet, both the mother and her daughter were happy in the end, having benefitted from successful caregiving despite initial frustrations the duo experienced.

Caregivers were equally encouraged to continue to wait on God to bless their service to Him and fellow humans.

4 Major areas of successful caregiving

For successful caregiving, the delegates were admonished to “be realistic” and exercise patience with their infirm or elderly family members in four major areas.

These, Olumuyiwa stated, include understanding the fact that “infirmity and not an infirm person is responsible for feelings of frustration that arise from caregiving.”

In such a situation, the speaker admonished: “Take caution, remain calm under frustration, and refrain from retaliating when your efforts are not even appreciated.”

The convention delegates were also admonished to exercise restraint and avoid uttering unkind words or “wild talk” to their infirm or elderly family members, and even apologise to them, if need be.

Olumuyiwa further noted that caregiving requires much time and energy, but God appreciates caregivers’ sincere efforts, and is well-pleased with them, especially when such individuals have left undone other important things, including theocratic activities for caregiving.

Benefits of exercising patience to caregivers, aged parents

There are several benefits showing patience in caregiving, including enjoying “greater peace” with the cared-for person, and to contribute to family happiness, the convention talk noted.

Besides, the delegates were told, that family members also would have an opportunity to honour Jehovah, as the human family owe their source to His name.

The convention, which started Friday and ended Sunday, is one in a series of over 320 to be held in 39 host cities across Nigeria.

Some 6,000 conventions would be held worldwide as part of the “Exercise Patience!” Regional Convention that started outside Nigeria from January 7, 2023.

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