My son, take care of your father when he is old;As our priest pointed out, there was no such thing as "Alzheimer's" in biblical times, but people have been dealing with the aging process as long as there have been human beings. The price we pay for a long life, is often increased frailty and dependence on others. Even Christ pointed out that
grieve him not as long as he lives.
Even if his mind fail, be considerate of him;
revile him not all the days of his life;
kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
firmly planted against the debt of your sins
—a house raised in justice to you. ~Sirach 3:12-14
Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go. ~John 21:18We are all dependent upon one another's kindness to survive in this world. We are called to love each other as Jesus loved us. That is what marriage is all about and that is what being a human being is all about.
Jesus also gave his mother to St. John from the cross. Mary had no other children to take care of her after Jesus would die and ascend into heaven, so the Beloved Disciple was entrusted with her care.
Following his example, the Friends of St. John the Caregiver provides support and inspiration to those caring for a family member.
Click here for an article about how caregiving may actually lengthen life! Hat tip to SK for that one!