Thursday, December 24, 2015
The marvellous head chef for our Inn from the Cold and Thank God It's Friday meal ministries is retired. We are blessed to have Rick's broad range of skills in the service of this outreach work, and it seems as though it is a full-time job.
Rick has an aging mother whose health is fragile. He has made the commitment to keep her in his home, and along with his partner they provide loving support which is impressive.
His mother and mine are close in age, which in mother's case will be 90 as of next Tuesday. My brother, Eric, lives close at hand to Mom and is an exceptional support to her, visiting several days a week in the residence which is now home for her. I will see her tomorrow, Christmas Day, and on her birthday, but he is the "go to" guy.
There are so many people who care for elderly loved ones and those who are not so old but require lots of support because of mental and physical challenges. Some find themselves making decisions about work and care which border on the impossible.
It's good to hear that one of the best initiatives of the Harper government, compassionate care leave, will be expanded by the Liberals as the Conservatives had planned. Starting January 3rd it will be available for 26 weeks rather than six. In addition, the government says it plans to rework the program later in the year to expand the number of people who can take advantage of the enriched employment insurance plan.
As a pastor who has seen the desperation and exhaustion of caregivers attempting to juggle work and care, this is encouraging news which might get lost in all the Christmas hoopla.
Thank you to all who do care so selflessly for loved ones. It is a powerful, compassionate gift, and the way of serving Christ as well.
Have you heard about the expansion of this program? Do you support it? Have you been in the role of a caregiver?