Here is a handy paperback by the gifted and insightful writer Barbara Bartocci, the author of Grace on the Go: 101 Quick Ways to Pray. She begins this book with a quotation from former first lady Rosalynn Carter: "There are only four kinds of people in this world — those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who need caregivers." It is estimated that one out of every 12 Americans is a family caregiver. Relatives provide nearly 80 percent of all home health care. And they need all the support and encouragement they can get.
Bartocci comes to the rescue with this compendium of prayers and tips for those who spend a lot of their time looking after others. The author throws out lifelines to those drowning in responsibilities in short chapters on beginnings, fear, grief, hope, challenges, gifts, burnout, and balance. Here is an example of a prayer:
"Oh Lord, moving into a nursing home is very hard. My loved one grieves the loss of independence, and I'm being blamed. There is a lot of anger when I visit. I have searched my soul, but cannot find another answer. Help me listen with patient understanding, and grant us each the willingness to accept these new circumstances. Sweeten my loved one's bitter heart as we acknowledge the truth of Ecclesiastes: To everything a season. Amen."