How do you see yourself living when you are an elderly person? In today’s busy world it is becoming less common for a person to take care of their parents when they’re elderly. In the past, more people felt the moral obligation to support their parents when they couldn’t do it for themselves anymore. Children were taught to honor their father and mother, as we read in Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” This doesn’t only mean being obedient as a child but also caring for your parents in their old age.
Nowadays, many of us treat elders as a burden and won’t make the effort to bring them into our house and look after them just like they did for us when we were kids. Of course, there are some situations when this isn’t possible and it is better to have them in a nursing home or retirement community. However, in most cases, it’s just easier to put them there just because we’re not willing to commit to this responsibility. We must not forget that even though they can’t bring money to our household they do have a lot of wisdom, which they acquired during their whole lives and that is such a big blessing.
We read in Timothy 5:3-4: “ Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.” This reminds us of how our parents and grandparents lovingly and joyfully took care of us when we were growing up. They didn’t abandon us when we weren’t able to be independent and self-sufficient.
Some elderly people don’t like to live in nursing homes or retirement communities and are taken there against their will. On the other hand, there are some that do like it and prefer to spend their days surrounded by others who are their age and share interests in similar activities. Even if they choose to live in a community or home doesn’t mean we don’t need to make sure they’re doing ok. They can feel lonely if their families don’t visit them on weekends or special holidays. Although there are organizations that have projects to visit them, take them on field trips and give them spiritual support in times of need, the love of their families has no comparison to those other activities.
So please think of how wonderful it is to care for them either in your own house or in a home. Calling them, visiting them, letting them know they’re not alone and can count on you; can make their golden days much happier and rewarding.