Caring for a Caregiver with Type 2 Diabetes

Robert was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes when he was 70 years-old, and it totally changed his life. In the beginning, he was very depressed about the diagnosis as he had other chronic health problems, too. However, this would be a game changer for him and his children who helped care for him. In his memory, his children wanted to tell his story to give hope to others in similar situations.

His daughter, Helen, says, “Diabetes is a terrible disease. Dad often had extremely high glucose levels even on medication. He had total neuropathy in his feet. Then to make everything worse, he had a foot wound and had to have weekly skin grafts for three months. Fortunately, it did finally heal. But during that time, is was so difficult for him to be off his feet.  We all pitched in, but Dad simply wouldn’t let go of his duties.”

Throughout these personal trials, he still cared for his wife, Jean, who was terminally ill.  His strong will helped get him through all of this. He truly neglected his own health to care for her. He even endured painful pancreatitis episodes with numerous hospital stays while caregiving.

Helen says, “It was so difficult to watch Dad suffer and never ask for much help. He took such amazing care of Mom, but we knew he was usually in pain himself. We tried to cook healthy meals for both of them, but he still found ways to sneak unhealthy food. Even his gerontologist, who saw him regularly, couldn’t get Robert to take better care of himself.”

Helen and her two siblings made sure that one of them was there daily to check on both parents as they still lived in their apartment. The siblings helped with cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and doctor appointments. But the constant care Robert gave Jean never stopped, even though it was exhausting him.

When Jean died, he lost his will and reason to live, and he passed away nine months later. The siblings were glad that he was no longer suffering and was with the Lord. Caregivers like Robert desperately need our prayers and support. They are true examples of selflessness and faithfulness.

What Helped:

  • The family had a very strong faith.
  • The siblings worked together.
  • Robert’s strong will and persistence.
  • His gerontologist and other doctors.
  • The American Diabetes Association has a wealth of information about the disease.

Scripture Verses

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3  We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 25:10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we pray for the selfless caregivers who endure their own illnesses while caring for others.  You do give us Your constant strength when we are faced with such difficulties. We know that You rejoice in our faithfulness.

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